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Full text of "Memorial Day annual, 1912. The causes and outbreak of the War between the States, 1861-1865. For use as a source book of contemporary authorities"

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ii^mnnal Say Annual 







^'^ 3EMPCB tYBANN*^ 

For use as a source book of contemporary authorities. 

Published by the Department of Public Instruction 

of Virginia at the request of the Confederate 

Memorial Literary Society 







rrcmfm^a from 

JUL u| 


Table of Contents. 

Letter to the Public School Teachers of Virginia — Jos. D. 

Eggleston, Jr., Supt. Public Instruction 7 

Dixie Land ■ 

The Right of Secession— H. J. Eckenrode, State Archivist . . 10 

"What Constitutes a State?"— Sir William Jones 20 

The Maintenance of the Doctrine of Secession— H. R. Mc- 

Ilwaine, State Librarian 21 

The Government of Virginia in 1861 — Douglas S. Free- 
man, Ph. D 27 

Slavery in Virginia in 1861— Douglas S. Freeman, Ph. D. . 31 

Virginia — Song with music ^^ 

The John Brown Raid— Douglas S. Freeman, Ph. D 36 

The Position of Virginia in 1861 — Hon. Edwin P. Cox 44 

Old Black Joe— Poem 66 

Fort Sumter— Hon. George L. Christian 67 

The Act of Secession— Mrs. Kate Pleasants Minor, Refer- 
ence Librarian, Virginia State Library 74 

The Sword of Lee— Father Ryan 84 

Recognition of Virginia's Position by ber Former Foes — 

Professor D. R. Anderson 85 

Origin and Meaning of Memorial Day— Mrs. Kate Pleas- 
ants Minor, Reference Librarian, Virginia State 

Library 87 

The Bonnie Blue Flag — Song 89 

Suggested Programme for Schools— J. H. Binford, Secre- 
tary Co-operative Education Ass'n of Virginia 91 

Extract from "The Old Virginia Gentleman" — Geo. W. 

Bagby 94 


To the Public School Teachers of Virginia: 

The object of this pubHcation is to place in the hands of 
the teachers of Virginia a synopsis of the conditions existing 
in the State at the beginning of the war. It is intended to 
answer fully and firially the question, Why did Virginia 
secede? As the answer to this question, to a certain extent, 
determines the right of Virginians to a place am3ng patriots, 
no child should be allowed to grow up without a clear under- 
standing of the issues involved. 

The quotations include some statements so simple that a 
little child may understand them, but the Annual is not 
intended primarily for the children. It is hoped that the 
teachers will find in it material to use in inculcating love of 
home and country, and will adapt the contents to the grade 
each teacher is called upon to instruct. The absence of any 
adequate text-book has made this effort seem worth while, 
and the Annual is the .esult of the combined wisdom of 
Confederate veterans, professors of history, and students of 
political science. 

Superintendent of Public Instruction 

Dixie Land. 


I wish I ivas in de land oh cotton, 

Old times dar am not forgotten, 
Look away! look away! look away! Dixie Land. 

In Dixie Land whar I luas born in — 

Early on one frosty mornin\ 
Look away! look away! look away! Dixie Land. 


Den I wish I was in Dixie, 
Hooray! hooray! 
In Dixie Land I'll take my stand 
To lib and die in Dixie, 
Away, away, 
Away down south in Dixie; 

Away, away. 
Away down south in Dixie. 

Dar's buck-wheat cakes an' Injun batter. 
Makes you fat or a little fatter. 

Look away! look away! look away! Dixie Land. 
Den hoe it down and scratch your grabble. 
To Dixie Land Vm hound to trahble. 

Look away! look away! look away! Dixie Land. 




WHAT was the legal right, the principle appealed to by the 
South in seceding from the Union? More, what was 
the moral right, appealed to or not appealed to ? Seces- 
sion was a grave step and one which all knew would probably 
lead to war. What then was the justification for this measure? 

Secession is now so far from being anything but a historical 
memory that it is difficult in Lhis age to reconstruct in mind the 
time when it w^as a right as much believed in as any other politi- 
cal right. The modern compact American nation never dreams 
of a separation of its parts, but before the process of consolida- 
tion millions of Americans entertained belief in secession as a 
political principle' and attempted to carry it into practice. The 
reasonableness of their position cannot be understood without 
bearing in mind the constitutional views they appealed to in 
seceding and the circumstances that led them to secede; for 
human nature rather tends to judge of the morality of an action 
by success or failure, and since the Secession War, writers have 
not been wanting to show that the South was as wrong in theory 
as it was unfortunate in the event. 

The Southern arguments have been presented in detail by 
such logicians as Jefferson Davis and Alexander H. Stephens 
in the years following the war, and, more recently, but with no 
great addition of strength by other writers. The case made 
out by the two Southern leaders is, on its face, very strong and a 
brief summary of their arguments loses much of the effect they 
are able to produce. 

In the first place it should be noted that secession was net 
regarded by Southerners as revolution but as a legal remedy 
sanctioned by the constitution in the case of the oppression of a 

^Thus the Virginia Convention of 178S, in adopting the Constitution of the 
United States for and in the name of the people of Virginia, declared "that the 
powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the 
United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted 
to their injury or oppression " Doc. History Constitution, v. 2, p. 145. 


State or of States within the Union. In the orthodox presenta- 
tion of the case, the right of secession is primarily based on the 
tenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, 
which declares that those powers of sovereignty not expressly 
made over to the Federal Government in the Constitution remam 
with the States. Such language naturally favors the theory of 
the Union as a compact of States and presents the State itself 
as an entity with reserved powers beyond the Federal sphere. 
From this limitation of the Federal authority, this careful pro- 
tection of State prerogative, it is no great step^ to the right of 
secession, for the conception of the State as sovereign in most 
things and absolutely without power as regards its connection 
with other States does not particularly commend itself to the 

logical sense. . . . 

But aside from the actual wording of the Constitution, it is 
well to consider the historical position of the States before its 
adoption as well as the opinion of the people of the United States 
in regard to the document. As colonies the thirteen original 
members of the Union had no political connection with each 
other except as parts of the British empire; they were as indepen- 
dent of each other as if they had been scattered through the four 
quarters of the globe. No connection existed until 1774, by 
which time most of the colonies had become well-organized and 
self-conscious political communities. Nor was this sense of 
individual existence altered materially by the events of the 
Revolution; the government of the Confederation was much 
less of a trammel than had been that of Great Britain, and, in 
1787, when the Constitution was framed the States were a 
group of republics^ bound together in a league. Later on, this 
pristine condition of freedom was remembered at different times 
by aggrieved States, and lastly and more particularly by the 
Southern States, which believed that they might lawfully return 
to the original condition when the Union no longer seemed the 
bulwark and protection it had been at first. 

'As an instance of this it is worthy of comment that Patrick Henry, in his 
official correspondence as Governor of Virginia, refers frequently to the Old 
Dominion, not as "this State," but as "this country". For a full explanation 
of the Southern view of the Constitution in 1830, see Hayne's reply to Webster 
January 30, 1830, Congressional Debates, 21st Congress, 1st session, VI, pt. 1, 
reprinted in MacDonald's Select Documents of United States History (N. Y., 
1898), p. 250. 


The Southern contention has been combated in two ways. 
The argument usually advanced, granting that the States had 
been free and independent under the old Union before the adop- 
tion of the constitution of 1787,^ holds that they voluntarily 
laid down their powers when they united to form a national 
government, which could not be justly dissolved on any grounds 
or for any reasons whatever. But the admission that the States 
had once been independent was so damaging that the jurist 
Story^ endeavored to undermine the Southern argument by 
boldly denying, in spite of the imposing array of contemporary 
opinion, that the States had ever been free and independent 
agents, capable of entering into or refusing to enter into a com- 
pact. Thus, the Declaration of Independence, he maintained, 
was not an act performed by the States through their delegates 
in the Continental Congress but by the people of the United 
Colonies acting in a sovereign capacity without regard to their 
local governments. s Likewise the constitution of 1787 was not 
the work of the representatives of the States but of the "people" 
of the United States. Story's somewhat over-legal argument is 
presented in historical form by the German historian, Von Hoist. 
Since the latter writer cannot deny the lack of connection be- 
tween the colonies before the Revolution and the subsequent 
independence of the individual States under the Articles of 
Confederation, he takes the ground that the Declaration of 
Independence was a spontaneous and unique action of the people 
of the confederacy, who, ordinarily content to express them- 
selves through the medium of their distinctive governments, in 
this case, as in 1787, asserted themselves as a single people. 

This theory is very clearly and conclusively answered by 

^The Philadelphia Convention of 1787, called by Congress at the suggestion 
of Virginia and other States, was organised on May 25, 1787, and, after de- 
bating for more than three months, adopted the Constitution on September 
15, 1787. The document was signed two days later. 

^Joseph Story (1779-1845), one of the ablest of American jurists, whose 
Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States here referred to, is one 
of the classics of American constitutional law. His life has been written by 
his son, Wm. W. Story. 

*The chief point made by Story may be stated succinctly thus: The Con- 
stitution was the act of the United States and not of the States united. 


Stephens, « the ablest writer on the Southern side, who points 
out that the Declaration of Independence was adopted by a 
Congress of deputies appointed by the States and voting by 
States. "The deputies or delegates from no State assumed to 
vote for it until specially instructed and empowered so to do." 
Stephens further shows that the States were practically indepen- 
dent during the Revolution, when the requisitions' of Congress 
were complied with or not at pleasure. Several of them main- 
tained regular military and naval forces in no wise under the 
authority of Congress, while Virginia carried on a war in the 
West as a purely individual enterprise. » The agents of Virginia 
in various countries represented her in a commercial capacity 
and bought military supplies as for a free power. The Articles 
of Confederation, adopted in 1781, the first American constitu- 
tion, declare that "each State retains its Sovereignty, freedom 
and independence."!* Furthermore, the independence of the 
individual States was recognized by England in the treaty of 
1783," which declares that "His Britannic Majesty acknowledges 
the said United States [naming themj to be free; sovereign and 
independent States; and he treats with them as such." Be- 
sides, a great mass of contemporary evidence remains to illus- 
trate the opinion of the age as to State sovereignty. 

It is evident then that the South had excellent reasons for 

^Stephens was born in Georgia, in 1812, and died there, in 1883. Deformed 
in body and unprepossessing in appearance, he was nevertheless regarded by 
many of his contemporaries as the ablest mind in the civil life of the Confed- 
eracy. Posterity has confirmed this judgment in large measure. His 
Constitutional View of the War between the States is the book referred to here. 

^One of the most striking proofs of this independence was the action of the 
States in granting or denying, as they chose, the requisitions for funds made 
upon them by the Continental Congress. This neglect of Congress reached 
such dimensions towards the end of the war that the Continental authorities 
confessed themselves impotent. 

*This was the expedition undertaken by George Rogers Clark in 1779. 
Clark was commissioned by, and was under the orders of, the Governor of 
Virginia, Patrick Henry. The funds for his expedition were furnished by the 

^Article II "Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, 
and every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by this confederation 
ex]jressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled." See Mac- 
Donald, op. cit., p. 7. 

"This treaty was signed at Paris, September 3, 1783, and was ratified by 
Congress, January 14, 1784. 


believing that the States had been sovereign and competent to 
control their destinies prior to the adoption of the present Con- 
stitution in 1788. But this is not enough. If a consolidated 
government came into existence in 1789, one under which the 
States lost their sovereign powers, it would be difficult to justify 
secession on the single ground of their ancient freedom. Were 
the States still free agents in any sense as against the Federal 
Government after that year? 

The interpretation of the Constitution of 1787 has thus been 
the great battle-ground of the secession controversy. Without 
going deeply Into the question of interpretation — a matter 
varying with each age— a few facts may be noted in connection 
with it that throw light on the States Rights position. In the 
constitutional convention an effort was made to form a consoli- 
dated, a truly national government, but the plan met with de- 
feat, owing to the attitude of the small States, which refused to 
surrender their sovereignty. The Constitution as adopted was a 
modification and strengthening of the Articles of Confedera- 
tion, many features of which remained little changed. States 
Rights were carefully preserved in the institution of the Senate 
with equal representation for all the States without regard to 
population. Various functions of the Constitution, as Mr. 
Stephens has pointed out, are performed by the States; many 
prohibitions are made to States. Senators are elected by the 
legislatures of States ; members of the House of Representatives 
are to be chosen according to the electoral qualifications imposed 
by the States; Congress is given power to regulate commerce 
among the States; no preference shall be given the ports of any 
State over those of others; no State can enter into treaties; no 
State, without the consent of Congress, shall lay Imposts. Such 
frequently recurring references to the sphere of State action 
carry their own refutation of the theory that the few rhetorical 
words that preface the Constitution, "We the people of the 
United States," by their own authority destroy State sovereignty 
and create a consolidation of the American Union. 

The first great political contest of the United States under the 
Constitution arose largely on the question of interpretation. 
The party which had advocated a strongly national constitution 
In the convention of 1787 and which accepted the Federal Con- 
stitution as the most that could be obtained under the circum- 


stances came into power with Washington and attempted to 
construe the Constitution as a consolidation. The opposition, 
the Democratic-Republicans, maintained that the government 
was a compact" of States still essentially free. Prominent 
among the founders and leaders of this party, was Madison, 
who was the chief author of the Constitution and who is some- 
times quoted by nationalist writers as holding the consolidation 
theory. The issue between the Democrats and Federalists 
came to a head in 1798 with the Alien and Sedition Acts, which 
elicited the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions claiming for the 
individual States the right of negativing acts of Congress which 
they might deem unjust and oppressive. On this platform, 
the Democratic party won an overwhelming victory in 1800, 
remaining in power, with the exception of two short intervals, 
until the Civil War. The people of the United States, called to 
judge between the rival theories of consolidation and State 
sovereignty, thus emphatically declared for the latter. This 
point, although seldom dwelt upon, is of importance, for in a 
democratic republic the people may be regarded as having a 
certain power of interpreting their government, at least while it is 
new and before it has established definite principles. 

By the irony of history, which leads men to such strange and 
contradictory positions at different times, the predominance of 
the Democratic party brought about the assertion of the right 
of secession in the first instance by New England, the section 
with the greatest grievance in the beginning. The 
Connecticut Courant, a leading newspaper, thus spoke in 1796: 
"The Northern States can subsist as a nation, as a republic, 
without any connection with the Southern." In 1804 John 
Quincy Adams'' claimed that he knew of a New England scheme 
for the dissolution of the Union. In 1814 the celebrated Hart- 
ford Convention'3 threatened secession, declaring that separa- 

"It is interesting to note that this question was raised in the first Congress 
under the Constitution and had, by 1798, become a definite issue between the 
parties. See reference to the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions below. 

'Vohn Quincy Adams (1767-1848), sixth President of the United States, 
refers to this alleged "plot" in his Memoirs, v. 8, p. Il5, 118 ff. It received 
slight attention at the time. 

The Hartford Convention grew out of the discontent felt by New England 
at the inevitable losses incurred during the war of 1812. By a vote of October 
18, 1814, the Massachusetts Legislature named twelve delegates to a Con- 


tion "should if possible, be the work of peaceable times and 
deliberate consent . . . But the severance of the Union 
by one or more States against the will of the rest, and especially 
in time of war, can only be justified by absolute necessity." 
This report was adopted by the legislatures of Massachusetts 
and Connecticut;! showing that a quarter of a century after the 
framing of the constitution New England States asserted the 
right of secession. Even so late as 1845 the Massachusetts 
legislature, in another declaration, emphatically endorsed State 
sovereignty, claiming for a State the right of nullifying acts of 

It is unnecessary to quote further examples to show that the 
Constitution of 1787, so far from converting the Confederation 
into a consolidated nation, was regarded many years after its 
adoption and in the region where the theory of nationalism was 
to have its greatest vogue as a compact severable by the States 
upon the plea of necessity. Authoritative opinion, both in the 
North and South, from 1798 to 1845, approved the theoretical 
rights of nullification and secession, and consequently the South- 
ern States had strong legal and historical reasoning to urge in 
1861. State sovereignty had been one of the commonplaces of 
the political creed of at least a majority of Americans for a con- 
tinuous period of more than half a century. 

As a matter of fact the doctrine of States Rights was in the 
ascendant until nearly the middle of the century, when the Story 
school arose in the land to combat it. This theory teaches, in 
brief, that the Constitution created a national Union, no matter 
what were the intentions or beliefs of the founders or contem- 
porary opinion, an ingenious method of setting history aside 
to make way for present convenience. An echo of this is found 
in Charles Francis Adams' exceedingly able article on secession, 
in which he speaks of the makers of the Constitution as having 

vention of States called to find a remedy for their grievances. Rhode Island 
and Connecticut also appointed delegates, who, with those from Massachu- 
setts and others chosen by local conventions in Vermont and New Hampshire, 
met at Hartford, Connecticut, December 15, 1814. They adjourned on 
January 5, 1815, at which time they gave out the report to which reference 
is made. The full text of the report may be found in Dwight's History of the 
Hartford Convention (ed. 1833), p, 352 ff. The passage quoted here is on 
page 355. Northern writers — for instance, MacDonald, op. cit., — generally 
omit that i)art of the report which refers to secession. 


perpetrated a "pious fraud" on the people, giving them a dif- 
ferent government from the one believed to be given. But what 
becomes of constitutional liberty on this theory? Apparently 
the people of the United States were in the position of the old 
man in the melodrama, who signs away his property rights with- 
out knowing it and has the document prod,.;ced before him at 
the end of the second act to his dumbfounding. 
. In recent years, however, writers have more and more inclined 
to admit the strength of the Southern claim upon grounds of 
strict legality, and base their denial of the right of secession upon 
political development, setting aside constitutional argument 
and transferring the controversy from a legal to a moral basis. 
They admit that secession may have been valid at one time and 
that its validity may have continued after the adoption of the 
Constitution, but that the development of "nationalism" made 
it a thing of the past, a political anachronism, a principle not 
rightly available so late as 1861. In their view, although the 
States may have existed as a Confederation for a certain time 
after 1789, they gradually, by degrees, through the continued 
working of the Constitution, consolidated into a nation. '^ 
Thus secession was possibly justifiable in 1800 or 1815 but not 
in 1861. 

It is just this argument of "progressive nationahsm," consid- 
ered in all its bearings, that most strongly supports the right of 
secession. Without doubt the States had tended towards 
nationalization for many years preceding the Civil War, but 
at the same time not towards a national idea common to all of 
them. This latter very apparent fact has been explained on the 
theory that nationalism developed solely in the Northern 
States, while the Southern States, oblivious to the development, 
recognized only the old idea of State sovereignty. But action 
is equal to reaction in politics as well as in chemistry, and amidst 
the fierce political struggles of the middle century the South 
began instinctively to respond to the feeling of nationalism as 
well as the North. The Union was crystallizing not into a 
single but a dual nationality. 

From the beginning of the Confederation two groups of States, 

'^Such in substance was the view of Daniel Webster. See his reply to 
Hayne, January 26-27, 1830. Congressional Debates, 21st Congress, 1st 
session, VI. pt. 1. 


the Northern and Southern, had stood out in marked contrast, 
and as the nineteenth century grew the difference grew, not 
lessened. The North developed into a modern industrial coun- 
try, with the social constitution of industrialism; the South 
remained a colonial agricultural community, with its strongly 
conservative institutions and society. As the two communi- 
ties, combined in the same confederacy under the same flag, 
became more unlike, they tended to grow more homogeneous 
around their own centers. In the beginning Virginia and Penn- 
sylvania had been closer than Virginia and North Carolina; in 
1861 Virginia and Pennsylvania were poles apart, while Virginia 
and North Carolina were in perfect accord. In 1830 South 
Carolina, the center of Southern nationalism, stood alone in her 
contest with the Federal Government ;'5 in 1860 she had the 
South behind her. In this interval the principle of "national- 
ism" had come into full play, dividing the American Union into 
two countries with few things in common. At the beginning 
of the Civil War the United States was neither a confederacy nor 
a nation but a dual republic, in fact, politically organized as a. 
number of separate States under one general government. 
This essential duality of the Union was apparent to Calhoun, 
who, in his effort to remedy what he felt was a false position 
without recourse to disunion, advocated the creation of a double 
executive, with one president for the North and another for the 
South. The antagonism of the two communities centered largely 
around slavery, which had been indeed a potent factor in widen- 
ing the divergence. The South as the weaker and more conser- 
vative country was naturally on the defensive in the struggle 
preceding the Civil War; the North, as the larger and modern 
community, tended towards the aggressive, for the spirit of 
modernness is perhaps not much more tolerant of difference than 
that of mediaevalism. The contest between North and South 
became serious when private warfare broke out on the border 
and still more serious when, without provocation, an armed 
attack was made on Virginia in 1859 with the sympathy of a 

^^The nullification controversy, beginning in 1828 and ending early in 1833, 
is treated fully in the standard text books of American history. A very 
accurate though brief sketch is to be found in Woodrovv Wilson's Division 
and Reunion. For a more extended study see Wm. MacDonald's Jacksonian 


large part of the Northern pubUc. Under these circumstances 
of growing irritation and threat of war in a nominal state of 
peace, it was evident that separation must take place or the 
weaker South make such concessions as would produce a modus 
vivendi. The South, being in no humor for concessions of un- 
known significance, naturally used the principle of State sover- 
eigntyifi as the means for legally, and, it was hoped, peaceably 
accomplishing the end. Secession sprang from this conviction 
of incompatibility; it was the attempt to cut the knot of a hope- 
less tangle. The struggle was one of social forces, of sharply 
contrasted ideals, of industrial radicalism with agrarian conser- 
vatism, of the factory with the plantation; in the whirl of con- 
tending ideas can it be said that individuals are anything but the 
pawns of fate? 

The majority of Virginians, deeply loyal to the Union that had 
been largely the work of their fellow-citizens, did not sympathize 
with secession at first and looked to find another way out of the 
dilemma. A convention was called to consider what action the 
State would take in such an unprecedented crisis, and, at the 
same time, an earnest effort was made to arrange some basis 
of understanding between North and South in the hope of 
averting the impending conflict. This attempt, honorable to 
Virginia, had no chance of success from the first, and the State 
seriously compromised the future of the Confederacy by failing 
to secede until the very beginning of hostilities. Then, when the 
alternative was offered Virginia of assisting the North to con- 
quer the nationality of which her own economic and social struc- 
ture made her a part, as was inevitable she took her stand with 
the South. Her action was the one thing needed to make seces- 
sion a truly national movement. 

'^It has been asserted that the right of secession was taught at West Point 
by a text-book used there: Rawle's A Vieiv of the ConsHtution of the United 
States of America. This work, which undoubtedly leans towards State sov- 
ereignty, was used as a text-book at West Point, but apparently not for long. 
See James W. Latta's Was Secession Taught at West Point? an.d the Century 
Magazine, 78; 629. 



What constitutes a state? 
Not high-rais'd battlement, or labored mound, 

Thick wall or moated gate; 
Not cities proud with spires and turrets croivned; 

Not bays and broad arm'd ports, 
Where, laughing at the storm, rich tiavies ride; 

Not starred and spangVd courts. 
Where low-brow'd baseness ivafts perfume to pride. 

No, — MEN, high-mijided men, 
With powers as far above dull brutes endued 

In forest, brake or den, 
As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude — 

Men ivho their duties know, 
But know their rights, and, knoiuing, dare maintain, 

Prevent the long-aim' d blow, 
And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain; 

These constitute a state; 
And sovereign law, that state's collected will. 

O'er thrones and globes elate 
Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill. 

Smit by her sacred frown. 
The fiend Discretion like a vapor sinks; 

And e'en the all-dazzling crown 
Hides his faint rays, and at her bidding shrinks; 

Such luas this heaven-lov'd isle. 
Than Lesbos fairer and the Cretan shore ! 

No more shall freedom smile? 
Shall Britons languish, and be men no more? 

Since all must life resign, 
Those sweet rewards which decorate the brave 

' Tis folly to decline, 
And steal inglorious to the silent grave. 

Sir William Jones, in imitation of Alcaeus. 



H. R. McIlwaine 

As pointed out in the first article, the doctrine of secession rests not only 
upon a clear and indisputable construction of the plain terms of the Con- 
stitution but upon a long series of often-reiterated and widely admitted public 
declarations. Manifestly the latter are well-nigh as important as the former. 
Had the doctrine of State Rights, as enunciated by the South in 1861, been a 
forgotten political principle laid aside in the progress of years, it could not 
have stood as a justification of war. When, however, that principle was 
maintained during the whole history of the country prior to 1861 by many 
men and many States, it became incarnate and vita). The following docu- 
ments have been selected as illustrative of a constant adherence to the funda- 
mental doctrine outlined in the previous section. These documents are given 
an added value when it is remembered that the first is dated 1788 and the 
last 1861, and that they come from Whig and from Democrat, from State and 
from party, from American and from foreigner. 

The First Interpretation of the Constitution. 

"In order to ascertain the real character of the Government, 
it may be considered in relation to the foundation on which it 
is to be established. * * * 

On examining the first relation, it appears, on one hand, that 
the Constitution is to be founded on the assent and ratification 
of the people of America, given by deputies elected for the 
special purpose; but on the other, that this assent and ratifica- 
tion is to be given by the people, not as individuals composing 
one entire Nation, but as composing the distinct and independent 
States to which they respectively bel6ng. It is to be the assent 
and ratification of the several States, derived from the supreme 
authority in the State — the authority of the people themselves. 
The act, therefore, establishing the Constitution, will not be a 
National, but a Foederal act." 

The Foederalist "^2 (University Edition. New York, 1888), pp. 
261, 262. 

i^lThe Federalist is one of the most important of all publications giving a 
contemporary view of the real meaning of the Constitution. When the Con- . 
stitution was referred by Congress to the States, three young men, beheving 
that it needed explanation, decided to write a series of newspaper articles, 
in which they should give in detail what they regarded as the proper inter- 
pretation of the Constitution. These men were Alexander Hamilton, James 
Madison and John Jay, and in October, 1787, they published the first of 
eighty-five essays on the Constitution. These were signed at first "A Citi- 
zen of New York," and later 'Tublius," and attracted widespread attention. 


The Original Draft of the Kentucky Resolutions.'" 

"Resolved, That the several States composing the United 
States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited 
submission to their general government, but that, by a compact 
under the style and title of the Constitution of the United States, 
and of amendments thereto, they constitute a general govern- 
ment for special purposes; and that whensoever the general 
government assumes undelegated powers its acts are unauthori- 
tative, void, and of no force, that to this compact each State 
acceded as a State, and is an integral party, its co-States forming, 
as to itself, the other party; that the Government created by this 
compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of 
the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its dis- 
cretion, not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, 


REDRESS." Jefferson's Works, v. vii, pp. 289-90. 

The Resolutions of the Hartford Convention. •» 

"That acts of Congress in violation of the Constitution are 
absolutely void, is an undeniable position. It does not, however, 
consist with the respect from a Confederate State towards 

17 Aside from debates in Congress and the resolutions of some of the States 
adopting the Constitution, the next statement of the doctrine of secession 
is contained in the "Kentucky Resolutions." These resolut ons have an 
interesting history. When the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed bj' a 
Federalist Congress, to bolster the declining political fortunes of John Adams, 
Thomas Jefferson felt that the Southern States should express their views 
on this invasion of their rights. Accordingly, he proposed a series of 
.resolutions which he apparently committed to George Nicholas, a friend 
then en route to Kentucky. The resolutions were passed by the Kentucky 
Legislature and approved by the Governor on December 24, 1799. Reso- 
lutions of a somewhat similar purport were passed by the Virginia Assembly, 
though their tone was more moderate. The "Virginia-Iventucky" resolu- 
tions were regarded for a half-century as the corner-stone of States Rights. 
The text cited here is from Jefferson's original draft, with italics and capitals 
added by the editor. 

18 See the article above, The Right of Secession. 


the General Government, to fly to open resistance upon every 
infraction of the Constitution. The mode and the energy of the 
opposition should always conform to the nature of the violation, 
the intention of the authors, the extent of the evil inflicted, the 
determination manifested to persist in it, and the danger of 
delay. But in cases of deliberate, dangerous, and palpable 
infractions of the Constitutions, affecting the sovereignty 
OF THE State, and liberties of the people; it is not only the 


TO SECURE THAT END. When emergencies occur which are 
either beyond the reach of judicial tribunals, or too pressing to 
admit of delay incident to their forms, States which have no 


THEIR OWN DECISIONS." Dwight : History of the Hartford 
Convention, p. 355. 

State Sovereignty As Seen By a Foreigner. •» 

"However strong a government may be, it cannot easily 
escape from the consequences of a principle which it has once 
submitted as the foundation of its constitution. The Union was 
formed by the voluntary agreement of the States; and in uniting 
together they have never forfeited their nationality nor have they 
been reduced to the condition of one and the same people. If 
one of the States chose to withdraw its name from the contract, 
it would be difficult to disprove its right of doing so; and the 
Federal Government would have no means of maintaining its 
claims directly, either by force or by right." Alexis de Toc- 
queville: Democracy in America, v. 2, p. 257. 

19 It often happens that a foreigner of culture and education is able to gain 
a keener insight into institutions than a man accustomed to them from his 
youth. Such was the case with Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), the dis- 
tinguished French statesman and scholar, who visited America in 1831-32. 
His observations, published in 1835 under the title Democra y in America, 
may properly be called the first comprehensive study of American institu- 
tions. He, it will be observed, accepted without question the fact that the 
American States had "never forfeited their nat onality" and could not be 
deterred from secession if thev desired to leave the Union. 


Another Foreign View of American States. 

"There is not, as with us, a government only, and its subjects 
to be regarded; but a number of governments, of States, having 
each a separate, and substantive, and even independent existence, 
originally thirteen, now six and twenty, and each having a Legis- 
lature of its own with laws differing from those of the other 
States. It is plainly impossible to consider the constitution 
which professes to govern this whole Union, this federacy of 
States, as anything other than a treaty." Lord Brougham^": 
Political Philosophy (1849), Part III, p. 336. 

Lincoln's View of Secession. 

"Any people anywhere being inclined, and having the power, 
have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, 
and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most val- 
uable, most sacred right, a right which we hope and believe is 
to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in 
which the whole people of an existing government may choose 
to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can, may rev- 
olutionize and make their own any or so much of the territory 
as they inhabit.^' Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Letters 
and State Papers, Vol. 1, p. 105. 

Horace Greeley on Secession." 

"If it [the Declaration of Independence] justified the secession 
from the British Empire of three millions of colonists in 1776, we 

20 Henry Lord Brougham (1778-1868) was one of the most astute poHtical 
theorists and one of the ablest practical statesmen of his generation. His 
views of American politics are typical of those held by the educated class 
generally in foreign countries. 

21 This view of the right of secession was a favorite one among those who 
were forced by the plain facts of history and the obvious meaning of the Con- 
stitution to admit the right of secession but who refused to accept the argu- 
ments advanced by Southern statesmen. The stock argument of those men 
was, in a word, that the right of secession was the right of revolution and that 
conditions which justified revolution- alone justified secession. 

22 The views of Horace Greeley are of prime importance, com ing as they do 
from the man who fought the South vigorously and vehemently. Horace 


do not see why it would not justify the secession of five millions 
of Southerners from the Federal Union in 1861. If we are mis- 
taken on this point why does not some one attempt to show 
wherein and why." Curtis: Lije of James Buchanan, Vol. II, p. 

''We have repeatedly said, and xve once more insist, that the great 
principle embodied by Jefferson in the Declaration of American 
Independence, that Governments derive their just power from 
the consent of the governed, is sound and just; and that IF the 
SLAVE States, the cotton States, or the gulf States only, 


The Tribune, February 23, 1861. 

Greeley (1811-1872), after a youth of poverty and struggle, entered journalism 
and, in 1841, established the New York Daily Tribune. Through this 
he acquired great reputation and influence and came in time to rank as the 
leader of one branch of abolitionists. His hostility to the South and his 
determination to push the war to the end earned for him the hatred of the 
conquered country. For this he atoned in large measure during Reconstruc- 
tion by his generous advocacy- of amnesty and reconciliation. 




Douglas S. Freeman. 

John Letcher, of Rockbridge, Governor'^. 

Robert L. Montague, '^ of Middlesex, Lieutenant-Governor. 

Supreme Court. 

William Daniel, of Lynchburg. 
R. C. L. Moncure, of Stafford. 
Wm. Robertson, of Albemarle. 
John J. Allen, of Botetourt. ^^s. 
George H. Lee, of Harrison. 

23John Letcher, the first of Virginia's two war governors, was an unusual 
and interesting figure. Born in Lexington, March 29, 1813, he was forced 
to earn a livehhood while still a boy and served for some years as a tailor. 
He was extremely ambitious, however, and by hard study and economy was 
able to enter Washington College in 1834. In a few years he began the 
practice of law and soon became editor of the Valley Star. Drifting into 
politics, he rose rapidly as a staunch Democrat and was elected to Congress 
in 1851. For eight years he remained in the House and earned for himself 
the title "Honest John." In 1859 he was nominated on the Democratic 
ticket for governor over H. A. Edmondson and defeated the Whig nominee, 
Wm. L. Goggin, in a heated campaign. He took his seat January 1, 1860, 
and served his full term of four years, giving place to Wm. Smith. Letcher 
was a bluff, florid man of much determination and positiveness. Like many 
men of his party, he bewailed the approach of secession, but as a staunch 
State-Rights' advocate, he was quick to defend the honor of the State when 
assailed. He died at Lexington, January 26, 1884, having suffered a stroke 
of paralysis nine years before. 

24Robert L. Montague (1819-1880) was for many years a prominent figure 
in the politics of the State, serving as member of the General Assembly, as 
presidential elector, as Lieutenant-governor and as a member of the Secession 
Convention. He sat in the Confederate Congress fron 1863 to the end of 
the war. 

^^While all the judges of the Supreme Court in 1861 were men of excep- 
tional ability, Judge Allen deserves especial mention. Prominent in pubUc 
life for many years, he served in Congress (1833-35) prior to his promotion 
to the Supreme Court. At the outbreak of hostilities, he presented the 
famous "Botetourt Resolutions" to a meeting in that county. These resolu- 
tions, giving as they do a detailed explanation of the causes of the War, may 
properly be termed the Virginia Declaration of Southern Independence. 
They are given at length in Mary Johnston's novel The Long Roll. 


United States Senators. 
R. M. T. HuNTER=<^ and James M. Mason^-. 

Members of the United States House of Representatives. 
M. R. H. Garnett^s. 

J. S, MlLLSON^s. 


26Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter was easily one of the few real leaders 
of Virginia politics during the period before and during the war. He was 
born in Essex County, April 21, 1809, and, after several years of study at 
the University of Virginia, attended the famous Winchester Law School. 
He entered Congress in 1S33, and served, with a single defeat, until 1846. In 
that year, as a result of a memorable coup d'etat, he was named United States 
Senator. This place he held until the secession of Virginia, rising to a place 
of great eminence in the upper house. As chairman of the Finance Com- 
mittee, he fathered most of the important financial legislation and framed the 
tariff of 1857. By 1860 he had reached such a position that he was a formid- 
able candidate for the Presidency, and, indeed, ran second to Stephen A. 
Douglas at the Charleston Convention of that year. When Virginia seceded 
he threw in liis fortunes with her and was one of the State's first delegates 
to the Provisional Congress, serving later as Secretary of State and as Con- 
federate States Senator. At the conclusion of the war. Senator Hunter was 
honored with arrest for treason, but was never tried and was ultimately 
pardoned by President Johnson. He lived for many years after the war, 
dying July 18, 1887. 

^'James Murray Mason, another famous Virginian, was a grandson of 
George Mason, author of the Virginia Bill of Rights. He was born in 1798 
and, after a careful education, entered public life. He served in Congress 
for one term and, in 1846, was elected to the Senate with Hunter. He held 
this place until the outbreak of the war and distinguished himself for his 
staunch advocacy of States Rights. Appointed Confederate Commissioner 
to England in 1861, he figured with John Slidell in the "Trent Affair," which 
very nearly precipitated war between England and the North. Upon reach- 
ing England, Mason took up his duties and, among other things, published 
the Index, a valuable Southern paper. He returned to America after the war 
ended and died in Alexandria in 1871. 

^^A native of Essex County, long prominent in Virginia poHtics and for 
foul" years a member of Congress. 

^Born at Norfolk, October 1, 1808. Ha never served in ])ublic office 
except in Congress. Died at Norfolk, February 26, 1874. 

^"Daniel Coleman de Jarnette was born in Caroline in 1822, was a suc- 
cessful planter, served for many years in the General Assembly and was twice 
elected to Congress. 


Roger A. Pryor.j' 
Thos. S. Bocock.3^ 
Shelton F. Leake. 33 
William Smith. ^^ 
Alex. R. Boteler.^s 
John T. Harris. ^^ 
Steward Clemens.'' 
A. G. Jenkins. 38 

^^Pryor was in some respects the most interesting of Virginia's Congress- 
men, and might be called the Hotspur of Virginia. He was born in Dinwiddie 
County, July 19, 1828, and after graduating from Hampden-Sidney College 
began to practice law, only to abandon it for the more alluring field of jour- 
nalism. As editorial writer on the Washington Union, the Richmond Enquirer, 
the South and the Washington States, successively, he achieved celebrity as a 
fiery exponent of State Rights. At the outbreak of the war, he went to 
Charleston and figuied in the attack on Sumter. During the war he served 
as Confederate Brigadier and as member of Congress. He is still alive (1912). 

'^Thomas S. Bocock was born in Buckingham County in 1815. He was a 
graduate of Hampden-Sidney, a successful lawyer, a member of the Virginia 
General Assembly and served in Congress from 1847 to 1861. He was later 
elected to the Confederate Congress, where his pleasing personality and 
ability won for him the place of Speaker. 

^^Leake was an "old-line" Democrat. Born in Albemarle, November 30, 
1812, he taught school before he entered politics. He was a member of the 
House of Delegates in 1844, representative in Congress, 1845-47, 1859-61, 
and was Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia in 1851-55. He was a candidate 
for the Democratic nomination in 1855 but was defeated by Henry A. Wise. 

'^William Smith, popularly known as "Extra Billy," held practically every 
office in the gift of the people of Virginia. He was member of the General 
Assembly, Governor, Congressman, Brigadier General, Major General, and 
again Governor. Born in 1797, he was for thirty years a leading figure in 
the State. There is a statue of him in the Capitol Square at Richmond, Va. 

^^Boteler was a native of Jefferson County and was born May 16, 1815. 
He was graduated from Princeton and became a Whig, serving in Congress, 
1859-61. He was later a member of the Confederate Congress and served 
as a staff officer. 

^"Harris was a native of Albemarle (born 1823), practiced law and served 
for many yeai-s in Congress. 

"Owens was for a long time joint leader with Geo. W. Summers of the 
Western Virginia element in State politics. Born April 28, 1826, he was a 
lawyer and long a member of Congress. He fought secession very bitterly. 
Albert G. Jenkins was a native of Cabell County and was born Novem- 
ber 10, 1830. Graduated from Jefferson College, he studied law, but farmed 
instead of following his profession. A staunch Democrat and a man of splen- 
did ability, he served four years in Congress and resigned to throw in his fort- 



H. A. Edmondson.39 
E. S. Martin. fo 

uiio with his native State. He was killed, while ranking as Brigadier Gen- 
eral, at the battle of Cloyd's Mountain, Va. 

'"Edmondson was long a power to be reckoned with in Virginia politics 
and served in Congress from 1849 to 1861. He was an unsuccessful candi- 
date for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1859. 

••"Alartin served only one term in Congress. 


Douglas S. Freeman. 

Slavery had come into Virginia against the wishes of the Colonists, who 
had done their utmost to prevent it (Ballagh, History of Slavery in Virginia, 
p. 11 ff.). When the Constitution was adopted, with its rf cognition of slavery, 
some of the best and ablest men in Virginia opposed that instrument and the 
government it aimed to establish, because they perpetuated slavery (Mun- 
ford. The Altitude of Virginia Toivards Slavery and Secession, p. 30 ff.). By 
1830, Virginia was anxious to be rid of slavery, and the Convention called 
in 1831 seriously debated the abolition of slavery. The institution had 
grown to such an extent, however, and the problem of the free negro had 
become so serious, that men hesitated to set loose upon society so many 
thousands of half-civilized blacks. Just at this time came the Nat Turner 
Insurrection — a horrible affair which brought home to every planter the 
possibilities of negro freedom (Drewry, Southamptcn Insurrection) . Regret- 
fully, unwillingly, Virginia had to accept slavery as it existed. This was 
the attitude of the average man in 1861, when the Northern people hurled at 
Virginia the charge that she wished to perpetuate human bondage. This 
was the attitude of Gene/al Lee, who, in carrying out the provisions of his 
father-in-law's will, manumitted his slaves, as did thousands of other Vir- 
ginians, who aided in the establishment of Liberia and in the exportation of 
their negroes. (Munford, op. cit.) 

Population of Virginia in I860'" 

Total Whites • 1,047,299 

Total free colored 58,0424^ 

Total slaves 490,865" 

Total Indians 112 

[U. S. Census, 1860; Population, p. 515J. 

*^This includes the population of the present State of West Virginia. In 
studying the population and extent of Virginia on the eve of the war, it is 
well to remember that the State stood as a buffer between the North and 
South. Stretching from the Atlantic to Kentucky, and divided from the 
North by the Ohio and the Potomac, Virginia was a natural boundary. This 
was one of the reasons why her action was watched with such breathless 
interest by the South: upon her depended, in large measure, their safety 
from immediate invasion. 

^2This large free population — the largest of any of the Southern States- 
is one explanation why manumission progressed so slowly in the State. The 
"free negroes" were a shiftless, criminal and generally undesirable class, whose 
base propensities were a constant reminder of the possibilities of general 

33ee table below for the slave-owning population of Virginia. 


Slave Owners in Virginia in 1860. 

Number holding 1 slave 11,085 

Number holding 2 slaves 5,989 

Number holding 3 slaves 4,474 

Number holding 4 slaves 3,807 

Number holding 5 slaves 3,233 

Number holding 6 slaves 2,824 

Number holding 7 slaves 2,393 

Number holding 8 slaves 1,984 

Number holding 9 slaves 1,788 

Number holding 10 to 14 slaves 5,686 

Number holding 14 to 19 slaves 3,088 

Number holding 20 to 29 slaves 3,017 

Number holding 30 to 39 slaves 1,291 

Number holding 40 to 49 slaves 609 

Number holding 50 to 69 slaves 503 

Number holding 70 to 99 slaves 243 

Number holding 100 to 199 slaves 105 

Number holding 200 to 299 slaves 8 

Number holding 300 to 499 slaves 1 

Number holding 500 to 999 slaves 

Number holding more than 1,000 slaves 

Total number of slave-owners 52,1284-1 

Total number of slaves 490,865 

^""rhese figures should be kept in mind in connection with the total white 
population of Virginia. It was a constant argument in the days of secession 
and it is a standing taunt to-day that Virginia, with the other Southern States, 
seceded to protect slavery. When all is said and done. Northern writers 
declare slavery was the real cause of the war; State Rights were but an in- 
cident. This table of itself is a sufficient refutation of this charge. With 
a total white population of 1,047,299 and a slave owning population of but 
52,158, it is manifest that only one person in twenty owned slaves; and com- 
puting five persons to one white adult — a most liberal allowance — only one 
Virginian of four in 1860 was directly interested in the perpetuation of slavery, 



Virginia! Virginia! the home of the free, 

The birthplace of Washington, the land of Liberty, 

Your soil is invaded by tyrants and knaves. 

Your fields once so brilliant now gloomy with graves. 

Virginia! Virginia! the home of the free. 
Three cheers for Virginia and Liberty. 

Virginia! Virginia! the battle's begun. 

We've met the Northern Army, the victory we have won. 
And the cry of our leaders ever shall be. 

On, on to the charge, ye brave sons, follow me. 
Virginia! Virginia! the home of the free, 

Three cheers for Virginia and Liberty. 

To arms, ye brave sires, and fly to the field. 

Thy aim shall be victory and courage be thy shield. 
Trust in your God for 'tis He who rules us all. 

Bow meekly to His rod, be ready for His call. 
Virginia! Virginia! the home of the free, 

Three cheers for Virginia and Liberty. 


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Douglas S. Freeman. 

The Southern view of the American Union was bit erly assailed during the 
ten years preceding the War Between the States. Sincere advocates of a 
government of a people rather than of States joined hands with the enemies 
of the South in the formation of the Republican party. This party began a 
country-wide campaign for the purpose of abolishing slavery, or at least 
of overthrowing Southern political power. Inspired by enthusiasts like 
William Lloyd Garrison and by the over-drawn and unfair picture of slave 
life presented by Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, the Republican party attempted 
to elect a President in 1856. Their nominee, General John C. Fremont, was 
beaten by the Democratic nominee, James Buchanan, but they gained strength 
rapidly and threatened the overthrow of the South. Slavery was the occa- 
sion, divergent views of the government the cause of the struggle which was 
then precipitated. Some of the abolitionists composing the new pai-ty were 
sincere opponents of slavery and sought its extinction by law. Others were 
willing to overthrow the Union, to violate the most cherished principles of 
the Constitution and to wage a war against the South if by this means they 
might destroy slavery. GeiTit Smith, of New York, Joshua R. Giddings, of 
Ohio, and John Brown, were the most radical of the abolitionists. To the 
last named, more than to any one else, was due the intense feeling which made 
the Republicans triumphant in 1860. Brown was a man of humble origin, 
devoted heart and soul to the anti-slavery cause, absolutely conscienceless in 
his choice of means to accomplish his ends, and, it seems probable, a mono- 
maniac of the dangerous type. In 1859, supported by Gerrit Smith and 
probably by Giddings, he determined to begin an armed invasion of the South. 
That his supporters in the North kn w his general purpose and approved 
it is beyond question; that they sanctioned his raid on Harper's Ferry is 
more doubtful. In his residence in Kansas, where he had been little better 
than a murderer. Brown gathered about him a number of kindred spirits as 
zealous as he in their opposition to slavery. With these men he came East 
in 1859 and, accumulating a considerable store of arms and ammunition, 
rented a farm in Maryland not far from Harper's Ferry. On October 17, 
1859, moving across the river, he began the raid which has made his name 
infamous in the South and famous in the North. The details of the raid are 
familiar and are given in all the text-books. The raid itself was soon crushed 
and might have been forgotten, but for thi'ee things: — the evidence of wide- 
spread support which was promised him by honorable people in the North, 
the extent of his plans, and the sympathy which was shown him at the time 
of his arrest and execution. The document which follows indicates, in a 
measure, the support he received. In his trunk were found even more convinc- 
ing proofs of his plan to begin a campaign against the South which should reach 
into every slave-holding State. For example, a map of the Southern States 
was discovered among his belongings having a number of localities carefully 
marked with a pencil. In each of the districts so marked a census-table, 


attached to the map, showed a predominance of negroes over whites. The 
South could but conclude that Brown meant to stir up insurrection in these 
places, to free the negroes and, if need be, to massacre the whites. Last of 
all, when Brown was in jail and, more particularly, when he was executed, a 
wave of unconcealed sympathy swept the North; he was held up as a martyr, 
the day of his death was a day of fasting and prayer; and, in Boston, one 
fanatical preacher declared that the crime of Pontius Pilate in crucifying 
Jesus Christ whitened into virtue compared with the crime of Governor 
Wise in hanging John Brown. To the South Brown represented all that was 
evil. He was a man who had deliberately come among the Southern people 
to inflame the negroes to insurrection and, if need be, to massacre women 
and children in doing so. When, therefore, he was lauded as a martyr and 
saint, the South could but conclude that the North approved of private 
warfare against the institution of slavery. A detailed account of the raid, 
written from the Northern standpoint but in a spirit of fair-mindedness and 
after a most exhaustive and scientific study of the sources, is given in O. G. 
Villard's John Brown (N. Y. 1910). No full account of Brown from the 
Southern standpoint has been written. 

Brown's Purpose as Disclosed by His Own Testimony. 

Senator Mason^: Can you tell us who furnished money for 
your expedition? 

John Brown: I furnished most of it myself; I cannot implicate 
others ^ It is by my own folly that I have been taken. I 
could easily have saved myself from it, had I exercised my own 
better judgment rather than yielded to my feelings. 

Mason: If you would tell us who sent you here — who provided 
the means — that would be information of some value. 

Brozvn: I will answer freely and faithfully what concerns 
myself. I will answer anything I can with honor — but not 
about others. 

Air. Vallandigham i (who had just entered): Mr. Brown, who 
sent you here? 

^Senator James M. Mason, of Virginia. Mr. Mason was chairman of a 
special committee appointed by the United States Senate to investigate the 
raid, and he came to Harper's Ferry for that purpose. This conversation is 
one of a number recorded by the new\spaper men of the time. 

^Gerrit Smith had furnished him $100.00 shortly before he came to the 
neighborhood of Harper's Ferry. 

^C. L. Vallandigham, of Ohio, a prominent lawyer and member of Con- 
gress of Southern sympathies. 


Broun: No man sent me here; it was my own prompting and 
that of my Maker, or that of the Devil — whichever you are 
pleased to ascribe it to. I acknowledge no master in human 

Vallandigham: Did you get up the expedition yourself? 

Brown: I did. 

Vallandigham: Did you get up this document that is called a 

Broivn: I did. They are a constitution and ordinances of my 
own contriving and getting up. 

Vallandigham: How long have you been engaged in this 

Brown: From the breaking out of the difficulties in Kansas. 5 
Four of my sons had gone there to settle, and they induced me 
to go. I did not go there to settle but because of the difficulties. 

Mason: How many are there engaged with you in this busi- 

Brown: Any questions that I can honorably answer I will — 
not otherwise. So far as I am myself concerned, I have told 
everything truthfully. I value my word, sir. 

Mason: What was your object in coming? 

Brown: We came to free the slaves and only that. 

A Volunteer: How many men in all had you? 

Broivn: I came to Virginia with eighteen men only, besides 

Volunteer: W^hat in the world did you suppose you could do 
here in Virginia with that amount of men? 

Brown: Young man, I do not wish to discuss that question 

Volunteer: You could not do anything. 

■^The "Provisional Constitution and Ordinances for the People of the 
United States." This curious document was drafted by the so-called Chatham 
Convention, a gathering of refugees from Kansas which assembled at Brown's 
call in Chatham, Canada, in May, 1858. Brown stated at the time of his 
arrest, with amazing simplicity, that the constitution drawn up, for a 
separate government, was. not intended to ovei throw the Const tution of 
the United States. Indeed, a clause in the constitution so provided. By 
this constitution, Brown and his government proposed to be guided in their 
future attacks on the South. 

^Perhaps the fairest account of the Kansas question can be found in James 
Ford Pihodes' History of the United States since the Compromise of 1850. 


Brown: Well perhaps your ideas and mine on military sub- 
jects would differ materially.'' 

Mason: How do you justify your acts? 

Brown: I think, my friend, you are guilty of a great wrong 
against God and humanity — I say it without wishing to be 
offensive — and it would be perfectly right for anyone to interfere 
with you so far as to free those you wilfully and wickedly hold 
in bondage. I do not say this insultingly. 

Mason: I understand that. 

Brown: I think I did right, and that others will do right who 

interfere with you at any times and at all times. I hold that 

the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as ye would that others do 

unto you," applies to all who would help others to gain their 



Vallandigham: Will you answer this: Did you talk with 
Giddings^ about your expedition here? 

Brown: No, I won't answer that; because a denial of it I 
would not make, and to make an affirmation of it I should be a 
great dunce. 

Vallandigham: Have you had any correspondence with par- 
ties of the North on the subject of this movement? 

Brown: I have had correspondence. 

Vallandigham: Who are your advisers in this movement? 

Brown: I can not answer that. I have numerous sympa- 
thizers throughout the North. 

Vallandigham: In Northern Ohio? 

Brown: No more there than anywhere else; in all the free 

''Brown labored under the idea that as soon as he raised his standard of 
revolt in Virginia the slaves would flock to him by thousands. As a matter 
of fact, he was much mistaken. Only those slave, joined hm who were 
forced to do so, and some of these deserted at the first opportunity. Like 
all the abolitionists, Brown overlooked the fact that the slaves were, in the 
main, fairly well content with their lot — a fact which the war fully proved. 

^The Joshua R. Giddings, referred to above. Brown did confer with Gidd- 
ings, but it has never been proved that Giddings was fully cognizant of 
Brown's designs. 


Vallandigham: But you are not personally acquainted in 
Southern Ohio? 

Brown: Not very much. 

Bystander : Why did you do it [move against Harper's Ferry] 

Brown: Because I thought it necessary to success; no other 

Bystander: The New York Herald of yesterday in speaking of 
this affair, mentions a letter in this way: 

"Apropos of this exciting news, we recollect a very significant passage 
in one of Gerrit Smith's letters, published a month or two ago, in which 
he speaks of the folly of attempting to strike the shackles off the slaves 
by the force of moral suasion or legal agitation, and predicts that the 
next movement made, in the direction of negro emancipation would be 
an insurrection in the South."* 

Brown: I have not seen the New York Herald for some days 
past; but I presume from your remark about the gist of the letter, 
that I should concur with it. I agree with Mr. Smith that 
moral suasion is hopeless. I don't think the people of the slave 
States will ever consider the subject of slavery in its true light 
until some other argument is resorted to than moral suasion. 

Vallandigham. Did you expect a general rising of the slaves 
in the case of your success? 

Brown: No, sir; nor did I wish it. I expected to gather them 
up from time to time and set them free. 9 

Vallandigham: Did you see anything of Joshua R. Giddings 

"This has long been regarded as one of the strongest links in the evidence 
against Smith. If he did not know of Brown's plan for an armed invasion, 
it was singular, to say the least, that he predicted, so near the event, pre- 
cisely the kind of movement Brown had on foot. Additional weight was 
given the charges against Smith by the fact that soon after Brown's arrest 
and his implication in the matter. Smith's mind became deranged. 

°Brown here told the truth but not the whole truth. His plan was 
obviously to collect as many negroes as would join him — and he expected 
many would — and with them to hasten to the mountains whence he could 
descend to carry on war and pillage. 


Brown: I did meet him. 

Vallandigham: Did you converse with him? 

Brown: I did. I would not tell you, of course, anything that 
would implicate Mr. Giddings; but I certainly met with him and 
had conversations with him. 

Vallandigham: About that rescue case?" 

Brown: Yes; I heard him express his opinions upon it very 
freely and frankly. 

Vallandigham: Justifying it? 

Brown: Yes, sir; I do not compromise him, certainly, in saying 

Vallandigham: What time did you commence your organiza- 
tion in Canada?" 

Brown: That occurred about two years ago; in 1858. 

Dr. Biggs: Were you in the party at Dr. Kennedy's house? '= 

Brown: I was the head of that party. I occupied the house 
to mature my plans. I have not been in Baltimore to purchase 

Dr. Biggs: What was the number of men at Kennedy's? 

Brown: I decline to answer that. 

Q. Where did you get arms? 

A. I bought them. 

Q. In what State? 

A. That I will not state. 

Q. How many guns? 

A. Two hundred Sharpe's rifles and two hundred revolvers — 
what is called the Massachusetts Arms Company's revolvers, 
a little under navy size.'^ 

"Apparently a case in which a fugitive slave was taken from the officers 
of the law by a mob and was spirited away. 

"The Chatham Convention, referred to above. 

12 The so-called Kennedy farm, just over the Maryland line from Harper's 

"The arms were purchased in Connecticut and New York. In addition, 
BrowTi had two thousand pikes for use among his negro recruits. 


Q. Brown, suppose you had every nigger in the United States, 
what w'ould you do with them? 

A. Set them free. 

Q. Your intentions were to carry them off and free them? 

A. Not at all. 

Bystander: To set them free would sacrifice the life of every 
man in this community. 

Brown: I do not think so. ^ 

Bystander: I know it. I think you are fanatical. 

Broivn: And I think you are fanatical. "Whom the gods 
would destroy they first make mad," and you are mad. 

Q. Was it your only object to free the negroes? 

A. Absolutely our only object. 

Q. But you demanded and took Colonel Washington's watch 
and silver ?M 

A. Yes; we intended freely to appropriate the property of 
slaveholders to carry out our object. It was for that and only 
that and with no designs to enrich ourselves with any plunder 

"Colonel Lewis W. Washington, great grandson of George Washington's 
only brother. Brown and his party invaded Col. Washington's home, took 
him prisoner and appropriated his property. 




Hon. Edwin P. Cox. 

The John Brown raid had awakened the South, and Virginia in particular, 
to the possibihties of that abolition sentiment which had been steadily grow- 
ing in the North since 1830; but this raid did not convince Virginia that she 
should break the ties of union in an effort to preserve her women and chil- 
dren from the ravages of self-constituted liberators and negroes. On the 
contrary, Virginia positively declined to receive any overtures looking to 
secession after the John Brown raid and declined to enter into an arrangement 
proposed by South Carolina on the ground that it would mean secession. 
In 1860, however, the situation became more gloomy. The Democratic 
party, meeting in national Convention in Charleston, became hopelessly 
divided, and a split in the party resulted. Virginia did her best to heal the 
breach, but when the Northern Democrats, assembling in Baltimore, declined 
to receive the delegates who had left the Convention at Charleston, Virginia's 
representatives in the Convention, left that body and joined with the other 
Southern delegates in a Convention at Richmond. In the meantime, the 
Republicans had nominated Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency on a ticket 
of direct hostility to the South; and the Whigs — or such of them as were 
left — had nominated James Bell for the Presidency on a ticket of conciliation 
and Union. As a proof of her desire to preserve the Union, Virginia did 
something she had not done before: she rejected the Democratic ticket and 
threw the State vote to Bell and Everett, that is, to men whose policy was 
one of conciliation. But Lincoln had triumphed; abolitionism was 
supreme; and South Carolina, feeling that the election of Lincoln was an act 
of war against the South, seceded from the Union, December 21, 1860. Other 
States speedily followed her, and, on February 8, 1861, formed the Southern 
Confederacy at Montgomery. Virginia could not watch this partition of 
the Union without concern. She had struggled long for the Union; she had 
given to it some of her ablest sons, and she loved it. Her representatives in 
the General Assembly, however, thought that the sovereign people of the 
State should assemble in Convention and decide what course they should 
pursue. Accordingly the Assembly called a convention of the people to as- 
semble in Richmond, February 13, and in the meantime, sent delegates to 
the seceded States and to Washington, in an effort to preserve peace, and, 
in addition, called a convention of all the States, the "Peace Convention." 

The election to the Convention was held on February 7, and its result 
showed plainly the conservative attitude of Virginia and her desire to main- 
tain the Union. Those men who were candidates for the Convention on a 
platform of "immediate secession" — that is, the men who believed that 
Virginia had sufficient ground for leaving the Union — were in most instances 
defeated; and a majority of the delegates elected represented the National 
Democratic and old Whig parties. They were men who beheved that the 


traditions of Virginia should be maintained and that in this crisis of National 
life she should do all in her power to preserve the Union. States-Rights men 
to the backbone, these conservatives nevertheless believed that secession 
should not be resorted to except as a last alternative of self-defense. When 
the Convention assembled this element controlled its action and named 
John Janney as president. 

Botetourt Resolutions. 

Offered in a large mass meeting of the people of Botetourt County, 
December 10th, I860, by the Hon. John J. Allen, President of the Supreme 
Court of Virginia, and adopted with but two dissenting voices. 

The people of Botetourt County, in general meeting as- 
sembled, believe it to be the duty of all the citizens of the Com- 
monwealth, in the present alarming condition of our country, to 
give some expression of their opinion upon the threatening aspect 
of public affairs. They deem it unnecessary and out of place to 
avow sentiments of loyalty to the constitution and devotion to 
the Union of these States. A brief reference to the part the 
State has acted in the past will furnish the best evidence of the 
feelings of her sons in regard to the Union of the States and the 
constitution, which is the sole bond which binds them together. 

In the controversies with the mother country, growing out 
of the efforts of the latter to tax the colonies without their con- 
sent, it was Virginia who, by the resolutions against the stamp 
act, gave the example of the first authoritative resistance by a 
legislative body to the British Government, and so imparted the 
first impulse to the Revolution. 

Virginia declared her independence before any of the colonies, 
and gave the first written constitution to mankind. 

By her instructions her representatives in the General Con- 
gress introduced a resolution to declare the colonies independ- 
ent States, and the declaration itself was written by one of her 

She furnished to the Confederate States the father of his 
country, under whose guidance independence was achieved, and 
the rights and liberties of each State, it was hoped, perpetually 

She stood undismayed through the long night of the Rev- 
olution, breasting the storm of war and pouring out the blood of 
her sons like water on almost every battle-field, from the ram- 
parts of Quebec to the sands of Georgia. 


By her own unaided efforts the northwestern territory was 
conquered, whereby the Mississippi, instead of the Ohio river, 
was recognized as the boundary of the United States by the 
treaty of peace. 

To secure harmony, and as an evidence of her estimate of 
the value of the Union of the States, she ceded to all for their 
common benefit this magnificent region — an empire in itself. 

When the articles of confederation were shown to be in- 
adequate to secure peace and tranquillity at home and respect 
abroad, Virginia first moved to bring about a more perfect 

At her instance the first assemblage of commissioners took 
place at Annapolis, which ultimately led to the meeting of the 
convention which formed the present constitution. 

This instrument itself was in a great measure the production 
of one of her sons, who has been justly styled the father of the 

The government created by it was put into operation with 
her Washington, the father of his country, at its head; her 
Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, in his 
cabinet; her Madison, the great advocate of the constitution, in 
the legislative hall. 

Under the leading of Virginia statesmen the Revolution of 
1798 was brought about, Louisiana was acquired, and the second 
war of independence was waged. 

Throughout the whole process of the Republic she has never 
infringed on the rights of any State, or asked or received an 
exclusive benefit. 

On the contrary, she has been the first to vindicate the 
equality of all the States, the smallest as well as the greatest. 

But claiming no exclusive benefit for her efforts and sacrifices 
in the common cause, she had a right to look for feelings of 
fraternity and kindness for her citizens from the citizens of other 
States, and equality of rights for her citizens with all others; 
that those for whom she had done so much would abstain from 
actual aggressions upon her soil, or if they could not be prevented 
would show themselves ready and prompt in punishing the 
aggressors; and that the common government, to the promotion 
of which she contributed so largely for the purpose of "estab- 
lishing justice and insuring domestic tranquillity," would not, 
■yyhilst the forms of the constitution were observed, be so per- 


verted in spirit as to inflict wrong and injustice and produce 
universal insecurity. 

These reasonable expectations have been grievously dis- 

Owing to a spirit of pharisaical fanaticism prevailing in the 
North in reference to the institution of slavery, incited by foreign 
emissaries and fostered by corrupt political demagogues in 
search of power and place, a feeling has been aroused between 
the people of the two sections of what was once a common 
country, which of itself would almost preclude the administra- 
tion of a united government in harmony. 

For the kindly feelings of a kindred people we find sub- 
stituted distrust, suspicion and mutual aversion. 

For a common pride in the name American, we find one section 
even in foreign lands pursuing the other with revilings and 

For the religion of a Divine Redeemer of all, we find a religion 
of hate against a part; and in all the private relations of life, 
instead of fraternal regard, a "consuming hate," which has but 
seldom characterized warring nations. 

This feeling has prompted a hostile incursion upon our own 
soil, and an apotheosis of the murderers, who were justly con- 
demned and executed. 

It has shown itself in the legislative halls by the passage of 
laws to obstruct a law of Congress passed in pursuance of a plain 
provision of the constitution. 

It has been manifested by the industrious circulation of 
incendiary publications, sanctioned by leading men, occupying 
the highest station in the gift of the people, to produce discord 
and division in our midst, and incite to midnight murder and 
every imaginable atrocity against an unoffending community. 

It has displayed itself in a persistent denial of the equal rights 
of the citizens of each State to settle with their property in the 
common territory acquired by the blood and treasure of all. 

It is shown in their openly avowed determination to cir-. 
cumscribe the institution of slavery within the territory of the 
States now recognizing it, the inevitable effect of which would be 
to fill the present slave-holding States with an ever increasing 
negro population, resulting in the banishment of our own non- 
slave-holding population in the first instance, and the eventual 


surrender of our country to a barbarous race, or, what seems to be 
desired, an amalgamation with the African. 

And it has at last culminated in the election, by a sectional 
majority of the free States alone, to the first office in the republic, 
of the author of the sentiment that there is an "irrepressible 
conflict" between free and slave labor and that there must be 
universal freedom or universal slavery; a sentiment which in- 
culcates, as a necessity of our situation, warfare between the 
two sections of our country without cessation or intermission 
until the weaker is reduced to subjection. 

In view of this state of things, we are not inclined to rebuke 
or censure the people of any of our sister States in the South, 
suffering from injury, goaded by insults, and threatened with 
such outrages and wrongs, for their bold determination to re- 
lieve themselves from such injustice and oppression, by, resorting 
to their ultimate and sovereign right to dissolve the compact 
which they had formed and to provide new guards for their 
future security. 

Nor have we any doubt of the right of any State, there being 
no common umpire between co-equal sovereign States, to judge 
for itself on its own responsibility, as to the mode and measure 
of redress. 

The States, each for itself, exercised this sovereign power 
when they dissolved their connection with the British Empire. 

They exercised the same power when nine of the States se- 
ceded from the confederation and adopted the present constitu- 
tion, though two States at first rejected it. 

The articles of confederation stipulated that those articles 
should be inviolably observed by every State, and that the 
Union should be perpetual, and that no alteration should be 
made unless agreed to by Congress and confirmed by every 

Notwithstanding this solemn compact, a portion of the States 
did, without the consent of the others, form a new compact; 
and there is nothing to show, or by which it can be shown, that 
this right has been, or can be, diminished so long as the States 
continue sovereign. 

The confederation was consented to by the Legislature for 
each State; the constitution by the people of each State for such 
State alone. One is as binding as the other, and no more so. 


The constitution, it is true, established a government, and it 
operates directly on the individual; the confederation was a 
league operating primarily on the States. But each was adopted 
by the State for itself; in the one case by the Legislature acting 
for the State; in the other "by the people not as individuals 
composing one nation, but as composing the distinct and inde- 
pendent States to which they respectively belong." 

The foundation, therefore, on which it was established was 
federal, and the State, in the exercise of the same sovereign 
authority by which she ratified for herself, may for herself ab- 
rogate and annul. 

The operation of its powers, whilst the State remains in the 
Confederacy, is national; and consequently a State remaining 
in the Confederacy and enjoying its benefits cannot, by any mode 
of procedure, withdraw its citizens from the obligation to obey the 
constitution and the laws passed in pursuance thereof. 

But when a State does secede, the constitution and laws 
of the United States cease to operate therein. No power is con- 
ferred on Congress to enforce them. Such authority was denied 
to the Congress in the convention which framed the constitution, 
because it would be an act of war of nation against nation — not 
the exercise of the legitimate power of a government to enforce 
its laws on those subject to its jurisdiction. 

The assumption of such a power would be the assertion of 
a prerogative claimed by the British Government to legislate for 
the colonies in all cases whatever; it would constitute of itself 
a dangerous attack on the rights of the States, and should be 
promptly repelled. 

These principles, resulting from the nature of our system of 
confederate States, cannot admit of question in Virginia. 

Our people in convention, by their act of ratification, de- 
clared and made known that the powers granted under the con- 
stitution being derived from the people of the United States, may 
be resumed by them whenever they shall be perverted to their 
injury and oppression. 

From what people were these powers derived? Confessedly 
from the people of each State, acting for themselves. By whom 
were they to be resumed or taken back? By the people of the 
State who were then granting them away. Who were to de- 
termine whether the powers granted had been perverted to their 


injury or oppression? Not the whole people of the United States, 
for there could be no oppression of the whole with their own 
consent; and it could not have entered into the conception of the 
convention that the powers granted could not be resumed until 
the oppressor himself united in such resumption. 

They asserted the right to resume in order to guai'd the people 
of Virginia, for whom alone the convention could act, against 
the oppression of an irresponsible and sectional majority, the 
worst form of oppression with which an angry Providence has 
ever afflicted humanity. 

Whilst, therefore, we regret that any State should, in a matter 
of common grievance, have determined to act for herself with- 
out consulting with her sister States equally aggrieved, we are 
nevertheless constrained to say that the occasion justifies and 
loudly calls for action of some kind. 

The election of a President, by a sectional majority, as the 
representative of the principles referred to, clothed with the 
patronage and power incident to the office, including the au- 
thority to appoint all the postm.asters and other officers charged 
with the execution of the laws of the United States, is itself a 
standing menace to the South — a direct assault upon her insti- 
tutions — an incentive to robbery and insurrection, requiring 
from our own immediate local government, in its sovereign 
character, prompt action to obtain additional guarantees for 
equality and security in the Union, or to take measures for pro- 
tection and security without it. 

In view, therefore, of the present condition of our country, 
and the causes of it, we declare almost in the words of our 
fathers contained in an address of the freeholders of Botetourt, 
in February, 1775, to the delegates from Virginia, to the Con- 
tinental Congress, "That we desire no change in our government 
whilst left to the free enjoyment of our equal privileges secured 
by the constitution ; but should a wicked and tyrannical sectional 
majority, under the sanction of the forms of the constitution, 
persist in acts of injustice and \iolence towards us, they only 
must be answerable for the consequences. 

"That liberty is so strongly impressed upon our hearts that we 
cannot think of parting with it with our lives; that our duty to 


God, our countr}-, ourselves and our posterity forbid it; we stand, 
therefore, prepared for every contingency." 

Resolved Therefore, That in view of the facts set out in the 
foregoing preamble, it is the opinion of this meeting that a 
convention of the people should be called forthwith; that the 
State, in its sovereign character, should consult with the other 
Southern States, and agree upon such guarantees as in their 
opinion will secure their equality, tranquillity and rights within 
the Union; and in the event of a failure to obtain such guaran- 
tees, to adopt in concert with the other Southern States, or alone, 
such measures as may seem most expedient to protect the rights 
and insure the safety of the people of Virginia. 

And in the event of a change in our relations to the other 
States being rendered necessary, that the convention so elected 
should recommend to the people, for their adoption, such alter- 
ations in our State constitution as may adapt it to the altered 
condition of the State and country. 


Speech of John Janney Upon Assuming Chair as 
President of the Virginia Convention. '5 

Gentlemen, there is a flag which for nearly a century has been 
borne in triumph through the battle and the breeze, and which 
now floats over this capitol, on which there is a star representing 
this ancient Commonwealth, and my earnest prayer, in which I 
know every member of this body will cordially unite, is that it 
may remain there forever, provided always that its lustre is 
untarnished. We demand for our own citizens perfect equality 
of rights with those of the empire States of New York, Pennsyl- 
vania and Ohio, but we ask for nothing that we will not cheer- 
fully concede to those of Delaware and Rhode Island. 

The amount of responsibility which rests upon this body can- 
nct be exaggerated. When my constituents asked me if I 
would consent to serve them here if elected, I answered in the 
affirmative, but I did so with fear and trembling. The people 
of Virginia have, it is true, reserved to themselves, in a certain 
contingency, the right to review our action, but still the meas- 
ures which we adopt may be fraught with good or evil to the 
whole country. 

Is it too much to hope that we, and others who are engaged 
in the work of peace and conciliation, may so solve the problems 
which now perplex us, as to win back our sisters of the South, 
who, for what they deem sufficient cause, have wandered from 
their old orbits? Alay we not expect that our old sister, Mas- 
sachusetts will retrace her steps? Will she not follow the noble 
example of Rhode Island, the little State with a heart large 
enough for a whole continent?'*- Will she not, when she remem- 

'5 The splendid speech which follows was delivered by Janney on taking 
the chair and is an admirable statement of Virginia's views at the time. 
Janney himself was a Whig, a native of Loudoun County and one of the most 
upright and pure-minded men in Virginia. The other extracts from speeches 
and from resolutions passed at the time indicate the trend of public opinion. 

" This referred to the action of Rhode Island in offering to rescind lier 
"personal liberty law." This law was one of a series enacted by the Northern 
States after the passage of the Fugitive Slave law in 1851, and was one of 
the chief grievances of the South. The Constitution, it will be recalled, 
provided that a fugitive from justice fleeing from one State and apprehended 
in another State should be returned by the authorities of the latter State. 


bers who it was who first drew his sword from the scabbard on 
her own soil at Cambridge,'' and never finally returned it until 
her liberty and independence were achieved, and whence he 
came, repeal her obnoxious laws, which many of her own wisest 
and best citizens regard as a stain upon her legislative records? 

Gentlemen, this is no party Convention. It is our duty on 
an occasion like this to elevate ourselves into an atmosphere, in 
which party passion and prejudice cannot exist — to conduct all 
our deliberations with calmness and wisdom, and to maintain, 
with inflexible firmness, whatever position we may find it 
necessary to assume.'* — Journal of Convention of 1861 — pp. 9-10. 

Under the provision of this section Congress had early passed a so-called 
fugitive slave law which provided that slaves fleeing from their masters and 
apprehended in one State should be returned to the State from which they 
fled. This law was faulty in some essential respects and could not be 
enforced by the Federal authorities. Following the decision of the Supreme 
Court in the case of Prigg vs. Pennsylvania (16 Pet., 539), an agitation arose 
for a more stringent fugitive slave law. This was enacted as a part of the 
compromise of 1850, largely through the efforts of Senator Mason. This 
law placed the arrest and return of fugitives in the hands of Federal mar- 
shals and organized machinery by which the Constitution could be enforced. 
In opposition to this legislation a number of the Northern States enacted so- 
called personal liberty laws, which practically threw the entire machinery of 
the State Government in opposition to the mandate of the Constitution and 
of the Federal statute, enabling a fugitive negro to escape apprehension or 
return. These laws were clearly unconstitutional, were intended to be uncon- 
stitutional, and were enacted in bitter partisan spirit. When the war 
approached and the division of the Union seemed inevitable, Rhode Island 
repealed this law as a token of her desire for reconciliation. The Fugitive 
Slave laws are treated fully in all the standard histories of the United States. 
The most recent brief study is to be found in Smith, Parties and Slavery. 
For a more extended study see McDougall, Fugitive Slaves. 

1' The reference of course is to Washington. 

18 The sentiments expressed by John Janney as quoted above were reflected 
by leaders of public opinion in Virginia during the troubled weeks that 
followed the meeting of the Virginia Convention, and indeed during the 
entire period prior to Lincoln's call for troops. These were trying times. 
The Convention called by Virginia and meeting in Washington was unable 
to agree on any feasible plan of reconstructing the Union, and the coinprbmise 
which it finally offered, known as the "Franklin Plan," was unsatisfactory 
both to the North and to the South. (See Chittenden, Peace Convention.) 
This Convention adjourned February 27, but its proposed amendments to 
the Constitution did not receive the approval of Congress. In a few days 
Lincoln was inaugurated President. In his speech on that occasion he defi- 
nitely declared his purpose of upholding "the laws of the Union." In other 


words, guardedly but positively, he declared that he would enforce the 
Federal laws in the States which had seceded and would in this manner 
prevent peaceable secession and the erection of a new government in the 
South. This threw the Virginia Convention into a very violent debate. 
Many men declared that the time for secession had come, and viewed Lin- 
coln's inauguration as a declaration of war. In opposition to this view the 
conservative men in the Convention declared that they would not permit the 
secession of Virginia until forced to do so, and accordingly, despite Lincoln's 
speech, would not move for secession. It was during this period that most 
of the speeches quoted below and selected by Hon. E. P. Cox, of Richmond, 
were delivered. Thej' show better than any comment can the true_views of 
the people of Virginia. 


John Goode. 

Sir, I know not what others may think; I know not what 
others may do; but for myself I feel a sense of the solemn re- 
sponsibilities which now rest upon me, and appealing to the 
Searcher of Hearts, as to the rectitude of my purpose, I have no 
hesitation in declaring, that in my humble opinion, Virginia 
ought now, promptly and without delay, take her position at the 
head of the Southern column. 

Sir, I believe in my inmost soul that immediate separation 
from the Northern Confederacy is a peace measure. If we are 
to believe the organs of Black Republican sentiment In the North, 
the coercion of the seceded States is to be attempted by the 
Lincoln Administration. The tone of the Northern press, the 
declarations of their representative men, the votes and speeches 
of their Senators and Representatives in Congress, the action of 
their State Legislatures, the collection of the Federal troops at 
the Federal Metropolis, the repeated declarations of Mr. Abra- 
ham Lincoln himself, the organization and constant drilling of 
Northern Wide-Awakes, are sufficient in my judgment to con- 
vince the most skeptical upon this subject. He may not at- 
tempt, sir, to march his Federal myrmidons into a seceded State, 
but he will attempt to collect the Federal revenue and retake the 
captured forts. Will our Southern brethren submit to this? 
Submit! Why sir, it is a slander upon their fair fame and good 
name to entertain the idea for one solitary moment. You may 
talk about your alien and sedition laws; your stamp acts; your 
tax upon tea, and the most abominable tyranny that ever 
cursed any people upon earth; but I maintain that the most 
abhorrent tyranny upon earth would be to attempt to wring 
tribute from the pockets of an unwilling people. 

Sir, the union of these States, can never be restored by the 
power of the sword. It has rested upon entirely different 
grounds in the past ; it has rested upon public opinion and been 
preserved in the hearts and affections of the people. I say then, 
that threats of coercion can have no fears for freemen. The 
blood of the martyrs in every age has been the seed of the 
Church and if coercion is attempted, the blood of slaughtered 
patriots would be like the dragons' teeth sown upon the earth, 


from which would come forth heroes, full grown and armed, 
ready to spring into life and rush to battle. 

Then, sir, they will attempt, doubtless, the coercion of the 
seceded States, but they will never attempt to coerce a united 
South. The strong sometimes are tempted to make war upon 
the weak; but the strong sit down and reflect long and well 
before they make war upon the strong. And, sir, when Old 
Virginia places herself at the head of this Southern column, 
the other border States will wheel quickly into line and then, in 
my humble judgment, will the offensive and insulting threats 
of Northern coercion be abandoned. Then, sir, and not until 
then will "grim visaged war smooth his wTinkled front" and all 
again be peace — then may the union of our fathers be re-con- 
structed upon fair, just and honorable principles, and our coun- 
try move forward once again upon a brilliant career of prosper- 
ity and glory. 

Sir, what a noble chaplet would be hereafter entwined about 
the venerable brow of our blessed old mother, if, under the 
Providence of God, it should be her mission to restore peace to 
these dissevered, discordant and almost belligerent States; if, 
in the Providence of God, it should be her destiny to appear at 
the mouth of the sepulcher itself of this dead Union and say, 
"Lazarus, come forth!" I say, it would be a noble chaplet. Not 
only the people of this now distracted land would with one 
acclaim bless her; the nations of the earth would cry all hail to 
her and what is more, we have the word of eternal truth itself, 
which cannot fail that "blessed are the peace-makers for they 
shall be the elect of Heaven." If there are among those who 
hear me to-day, who earnestly and ardently desire a re-construc- 
tion of this Union upon terms of fair, just and honorable princi- 
ples, I sympathize with them cordially, but I beg them to re- 
member that Virginia can never exert her just and proper in- 
fluence with the now seceded States until she manifests her 
determination to cut loose from the Northern aggressor and take 
sides with the oppressed — until she manifests her determination 
to share with her gallant Southern sisters the dangers and the 
perils and the trying ordeal through which they are now passing. 
Why, sir, when they sent their Ambassadors here to defer to 
Virginia, to ask her to take the lead and say what was best to be 
done for the common good, and when Old Virginia cooly spurned 
the offer of sympathy and turned away from her children, it 


was but natural that these Southern States should feel some 
temporary distrust towards the Old Mother. Was it not 
natural? They did feel it. They felt it properly. But when 
Virginia shall move into the line and proclaim to the world that, 
come weal or come woe, her destinies are indissolubly linked 
with her Sister States of the South; when she shall take this 
position, and this unnatural strife shall be terminated hereafter; 
when Virginia invites the Southern Sisters to come back into the 
government which she has helped to reconstruct — they will 
come, sir, I hope not as my friend from Rockbridge (Mr. Moore) 
supposed on yesterday; they will come not like the prodigal son 
of old repenting in sackcloth and ashes, for what they have 
done — but they will come in the proud consciousness of virtue 
and right; they will come back to the Old Mother in the touching 
and beautiful language of Ruth to Naomi: "Entreat me not to 
leave thee or to return from following after thee, for whither thou 
goest I will go, and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people 
shall be my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest 
will I die, and there will I be buried." 

But if in this, sir, I shall be mistaken: If Virginia cannot 
reconstruct the Union, Virginia can secure a peaceable separa- 
tion. Sir, if we cannot live together with our* Northern con- 
federates, we have a right to be permitted to separate; we have a 
right surely to depart in peace. This would be a poor boon and 
Virginia, by a prompt and decided action, in my humble judg- 
ment, would either restore the Union or secure a peaceable and 
final separation; she would have a right to say, sir, as was said 
by one of old, "Let there be no contention I pray thee between 
thou and me — thou wilt go to the right, and I will go to the left." 

But sir, I say it is no longer a question of Union or disunion. 
The question Is, will we go North or will we go South? Every 
consideration of Interest, of honor, of patriotism — every impulse 
of the heart prompts the Virginia people to cast their destiny 
with their sister States of the South. Sir, more than 300,000 of 
those Southern people have gone from Virginia. They claim 
Virginia as their mother; they are our brethren, our kindred, 
bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh. Can Virginia desert them 
now? Can Virginia desert them in their hour of greatest need? 
As well sir, might I ask if a mother could forget and desert her 
own offspring? Speech in Convention, February 2 6, isei — Rich- 
mon Enquirer, February 27, 1861. 


Gen. T. J. (Stonewall) Jackson: 

"The time may come when 3'our State may need your services; 
and if that time does come, then draw your swords and throw 
away the scabbards." Speech to the cadets of the Virginia 
Military Institute; Henderson: Life of Jackson, Vol. I., p. 100. 

Albemarle : 

"If we — the advocates of immediate secession — could have 
carried our wishes, we would have pressed the lightning into our 
service ******** ^^e recognize that we have 
not now, nor have we had, the power to control this Convention. 
We have indicated, however, weeks ago, what the true policy of 
Virginia was." J. P. Holcombe, delegate'' from Albemarle 
County, in Convention, April 13, 1861 — Richmond Examiner, 
April 16th, 1861. 


"If then, Mr. President, these efforts on the part of Virginia 
for conciliation and harmony shall fail, if the Northern States 
shall reject the overtures of peace thus tendered, and shall 
attempt to inaugurate the policy indicated by the Chicago 
platform, if then, in the battle's wreck and midnight of storms 
which shall follow, this Union, the Rome of our hearts and af- 
fections, with all their storied memories of the pictured past 
"Shall in Tiber melt, 
And the vast range of its wide Empire fall" 
we shall be cheered by the consoling reflection, that we, at least 

'"James P. Holcombe was one of the leading lawyers of Virginia, and a 
famous teacher of his chosen profession. Born in Lynchburg, September 25, 
1820, he was chosen assistant to Professor John B. Minor in 1852 and, two 
years later, was appointed to a full professorship. Retiring from the Uni- 
versity in 1861, he was elected to the Confederate Congress and served until 
1863. After the war he opened a school for boys in Bedford County and 
later removed it to Capon Springs, West Virginia. He died August 22, 1873. 
In addition to being the author of a large number of legal and historical pub- 
lications, Holcombe was an orator of recognized ability, and ranked with 
the leading men of his generation in the State. 


are innocent. Speech of G. W. Brent, ^^o delegate from Alexan- 
dria, in Convention, March 8, 1861 — Richmond Enquirer, 
March 9, 1861. 


"This Convention has witnessed with deep concern the failure 
on the part of the authorities of the Federal Government and 
a majority of the non-slave holding State Governments, to 
co-operate efficiently with the authorities of this Common- 
wealth in an earnest effort to restore the Federal Union on 
terms consistent with the security of the people of the slave 
holding States." Extract from resolution offered by Hon. 
James Barbour," delegate from Culpeper County, in Convention, 
March 9, 1861 — Richmond Enquirer, March 11, 1861. 

Fauquier : 

"Virginia would never consent to become a party to a war on 
her Southern sisters; they had adopted a resolution to that ef- 
fect, and he hoped that it was not merely words, but an emphatic 
declaration of intention, and that coercion under no circum- 
stances would be tolerated. He was free to say that so soon as 
he knew the Federal Government meditated war, he was ready 
to vote for secession; but it was his opinion that the Federal 
authorities did not meditate aggressive war." Speech of Hon. 
R. E. Scott," delegate from Fauquier County, in Convention, 
April 8th, 1861 — Richmond Examiner, April 9, 1861. 

^"George W. Brent was a delegate whose views are very important, since 
he was chosen to the Convention as a Union man and was strongly opposed 
to secession except as a last alternative. His constituents, it must be remem- 
bered, were those who would suffer first from Federal invasion, yet, while 
anxious to preserve the Union, they believed that Virginia must maintain 
her dignity and do her part in the defense of the South. 

"'James Barbour, of Culpeper, was a descendant of a family long distin- 
guished in public life and represented a people whose history and traditions 
gave them weight in the affairs of the State. 

--Robert E. Scott was regarded by many as the real leader of the conserv- 
ative element in the Virginia Convention. Long in public life and familiar 
with the crnditions and opinions throughout the State, he was loath to vote 
for secess.1 .i until Lincoln called for troops. This action convinced him that 
Virginia must join the South. 



"Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, having 
set aside the Constitution and laws, and subverted the govern- 
ment of the said United States, and estabhshed in heu thereof 
an usurped government founded upon the worst principles of 
tyranny, the undersigned has therefore determined to sign the 
Ordinance of Secession adopted by this Convention on the 17th 
day of April last, with the intention of sustaining the liberties, 
independence and unity of the State of Virginia against the said 
Abraham Lincoln, his aiders and abettors and with no hope or 
desire for a reconstruction of the old Union in any manner that 
shall unite the people of Virginia with the people of the non- 
slaveholding States of the North." (Signed) "Jubal A. Early. "=^ 
Brenaman: History of Virginia Conventions, p. 63. 


"Mr. President, for myself, though I know no evil more 
horrible than Civil War, I am prepared to accept any alterna- 
tive for Virginia, rather than submission, humiliation and dis- 
grace." Speech of John Goode,"" in Convention, February 
26, 1861 — Richmond Enquirer, February 27, 1861. 

"But, sir, in the meantime, if resistance should become neces- 
sary, if it so happened that the State of Virginia should be in- 
vaded; that her rights should be crippled in any way; that any 
attempt should be made to coerce her by marching Federal 

^'Jubal A. Early, later Lieutenant-General in the Confederate States 
Ai'my and a well known figure for three generations in Virginia, was elected 
to the Convention as a Union man and bitterly opposed secession until 
Lincoln called for troops. The views here expressed and appended by him 
to his signature to the Ordinance of Secession, state in concise form the 
opinions held bj' many regarding secession. 

"^John Goode, of Bedford, was one of the younger men in the Secession 
Convention and was generally regarded as an ardent advocate of secession. 
Born in Bedford, May 27, 1829, he was graduat&d from Emory and Henry 
College, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1851 and was long prominent 
in Virginia affairs. He served in the Confederate Congress during the whole 
course of the war and was president of the Virginia Convention of 1901. 
His brief statement here shows how much even the most ardent secessionists 
were willing to concede for the preservation of the l^nion. 


troops through the State — I say, sir, should these things be 
attempted, I will stand by you, sir, and stand by you to the 
last!" Speech of Wm. L. Goggin.^s delegate from Bedford 
County, in Convention, February 27, 1861 — Richmond En- 
quirer, February 28, 1861. 


"Permit me again, gentlemen, to return you my heartfelt 
thanks for the honor you have conferred upon me, and allow 
me to express a hope that your deliberations will terminate in 
honor to yourselves and this good old Commonwealth, and 
the conciliation of this great Republic." Speech of James H. 
Cox of Chesterfield,^^ in accepting Temporary Chairmanship of 
the Convention, February 13, 1861 — Richmond Enquirer, 
February 14, 1861. 


"We were obliged to consider the fearful question forced upon 
us. Then we did consider the question of secession. Then the 
ties which bound our hearts with as strong and enduring bonds 
as yours could be bound to the Union, were torn one by one by 
3-our own hands, and we were forced calmly, deliberately, and 
conclusively, to the conclusion that the only remedy to which 
we could look for a redress of our grievances, was secession, and 
secession alone." Speech of W. M. Ambler, Louisa delegate, 

"^William L. Goggin, who served with Mr. Goode as delegate from Bed- 
ford in the Convention, was as ardent a Whig as his colleague was a Demo- 
crat. Goggin v/as born in Bedford May 31, 1807, studied law at Winchester, 
was admitted to the bar in 1828 and came to the Virginia General Assembly 
in 1836. He served six years in Congress and in 1859 was an unsuccessful 
candidate for governor on the Whig ticket. He died in Richmond on Janu- 
ary 5, 1876, after a memorable career. It is significant that Goggin came to 
the Convention as a Union man, but joined the ranks of the secessionist 
party when Lincoln declared his policy in his inaugural. 

-•■'This speech was delivered on the day the Virginia Convention assembled 
and showed how anxious was this ardent friend of the South to reconcile the 
two sections. 


in Conventicn, March 8, 1861 — Richmond Enquirer, March 
9, 1861.^' 

Middlesex and Matthews: 

"If that day shall come — which God in his mercy avert — when 
3'ou and I will have to be exiled or yield to this horde of North- 
ern Vandals, I re-echo, sir, (alluding to Mr. Preston) your elo- 
quent sentiment. I will not be exiled, I will not be a second 
Marius to go off amid the ruins of some Carthage, and there to 
weep away existence in bitter agony over the memorj' of lost 
and past glories, but, like you, sir, will stand at my post and 
fall as a true man — and when you shall sleep in your own green 
meadow, beneath your own native mountain, I will stand on the 
shores of my own native Rappahannock, and there will I fall 
and the ripple of its waves shall be the requiem that will soothe 
my repose till the morning of the resurrection. Virginia I will 
never forsake. I will die in Virginia, and trust to God and to 
posterity to vindicate what is just and what is right." Speech 
of R. L. Montague,'* delegate of Matthews and Middlesex, 
in Convention, April 1, 1861 — Richmond Enquirer, April 3, 1861. 


"The reason why I offered that resolution was because it is 
a copy of the precise phrase of the 8th resolution in the report, 
that has met so hearty an approval in this House all day long; 
that the people of Virginia will never consent that the Federal 
power, which is in part their power, shall be used for the purpose 
of coercion. I made that as the ground upon which the com- 
mittee might present themselves to the President and say: 
"This is the temper of Virginia and in that temper we come in 
peace." Speech of Hon. William Ballard Preston, =^' delegate 

^"Ambler was a secessionist of the advanced type, yet his utterances were 
conservative and he only committed himself to secession when Lincoln's 
inaugural defined his policy. 

■"^See note page 27. 

■^William Ballard Preston, who introduced the Ordinance of Secession, 
was elected to the Convention from Montgomerj^ County as a Union man 
and sternly opposed secession until Lincoln's call for troops. He had a long 


from Montgomery County, in Convention, April 9, 1861 — 
Richmond Enquirer, April 11, 1861. 

Prince Edward: 

"Mr. President, what does it mean? That numbers are to 
decide and that the minority is to submit? Is it the doctrine of 
Rob Roy? 

'That he shall take who has the power 
And he shall hold who can?' 

I ask is it possible that we shall sit here debating whether we 
shall pass a resolution opposing coercion?"3o Speech of Hon. 
John T. Thornton, 31 delegate from Prince Edward County, in 
Convention, March 5, 1861 — Richmond Enquirer,\\ 7, 1861. 

Princess Anne: 

"If he wants to preserve peace, so do I; if he wants to pre- 
vent war, he had better not delay; if he wants to preserve the 
Union in the integrity of the constitution of the United States, 
so do I. I hate the hater that hates the Union. I tell him that 
if he wants to save the Union, and restore it, he had better do it 

and honorable career in public life, representing his district in Congress 
1847-49 and serving as Secretary of the Navy under President Tyler, 1849-50. 
He was later a member of the Confederate Congress and was regarded as one 
of the most brilliant orators of the State. 

soThe term "coercion" needs a word of explanation — since it occurs many 
times in the debates of the Virginia Convention and in the resolutions of 
that time. The Federal policy of "coercion," in a word, was understood to 
be the determined purpose of the Administration to prevent a peaceful seces- 
sion of the Southern States and, if need be, to force — that is to coerce — them 
to remain in the Union, or to return to the Union after they had passed acts 
of secession. To this policy, of course, the Virginia Legislature and Con- 
vention were unalterably opposed, believing as they did that the right of 
secession was vested in the sovereign power of the State and was admitted in 
the Constitution of the United States. 

3iThornton was an ardent secessionist and a very brilliant orator. His 
speech on April 16 in secret session was regarded as one of the greatest efforts 
of the Convention. 


quickly, and the way to do it rests, now, now, now, upon the 
shoulders of Virginia. Let her take a stand on her ultimatum 
that not one right of hers should be impaired; that every right 
of hers should be protected; that those who assail them, assail 
them at the peril of the sword, sink or swim, live or die." Speech 
of Henry A. Wise, 32 delegate from Princess Anne County, 
in Convention, February 15, 1861 — Richmond Enquirer, Feb- 
ruary 16, 1861. 

City of Richmond: 

"If force be employed against the States who have gone 
out of the Union, it should and must be resisted. Force is 
not among the means of composing the controversy. It is not 
appropriate or adequate to any legitimate or desirable end. 
Should the government perversely attempt it, the fable of 
shearing the wolf would fitly illustrate the folly and wantonness 
of her counsels. The States should be brought back, if haply 
they may, by concessions alone." Extract from card of Wm. 
H. MacFarland in reference to his candidacy for convention — 
Richmond Enquirer, January 26, 1861. 

"To the doctrine of coercion I am unalterably opposed, be- 
cause no government which is sustained by force can be the 
government of a free, republican people." Extract from card 
of Marmaduke Johnson, 33 a delegate elect from the city of 
Richmond— Richmond Dispatch, January 26, 1861. 

32Henry A. Wise is too well known to need notation in this Annual. For 
twenty years and mcTe he was continually before the people of Virginia, and by 
his rare personality, great ability and frenzied oratory, was known throughout 
the country. Wise was born in Accomac County, December 3, 1806, grad- 
uated at Washington College, Pennsylvania, studied law and was admitted 
to the bar in 1828. He entered politics in a few years and served in Con- 
gress from 1833 to 1844, resigning in the latter year to accept a position as 
Minister to Brazil. In 1855 he was elected Governor of Virginia after a 
memorable campaign, and as chief executive of the State was in charge of 
the militarj' arrangements at the time of the John Brown Raid. Elected to 
the Secession Convention he adopted a policy of "fighting in the Union,'' 
but was a redoubtable champion of Southern rights. He served later as 
Brigadier-General of the Confederate Army and commanded a fine brigade. 

s'These two cards were written by conservative men who appealed to the 
people of Richmond for election to the Convention on the platforms here 


Wythe County: 

"That in the unanimous opinion of this meeting, Virginia 
will not submit to coercion on the part of the Federal Govern- 
ment of any seceding State and we regard the collection of 
the revenue claimed to be due from the seceding States, by 
force, and the possession of the forts in said States, by force of 
arms, as coercion, and we will resist, to the last extremity, any 
coercive policy to which the Federal Administration may choose 
to resort in respect to any or all of these matters." Extract 
from resolutions adopted at a meeting of citizens of Wythe 
County, March 11, 1861, presented to Convention by Hon. 
Robert C. Kent, 34 delegate from Wythe, March 14, 1861— 
Richmond Enquirer, March 15, 1861. 

outlined. They were both elected and upheld the position originally assumed 
by them. Both threw in their lot with the South when Lincoln declared war 
on that section. 

^^ Robert C. Kent, of Wythe, was for many years a leader in politics in 
the Southwest and served at one time as Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia. 



Gone are the days when my heart was young and gay; 
Gone are my friends from the cotton fields atvay; 
Gone from the earth to a better land I knoiv, 
I hear their gentle voices calling "Old Black Joe!" 


Tm coming, I'm coming, For my head is bending low; 
I hear those gentle voices calling, "Old Black Joe!'' 

Why do I weep when my heart should feel no pain? 
Why do I sigh that my friends come not again? 
Grieving for forms now departed long ago, 
I hear their gentle voices calling, "Old Black Joe!" 

Where are the hearts once so happy and so free? 
The children so dear that I held upon my knee? 
Gone to the shore where my soul has longed to go, 
I hear their gentle voices calling, "Old Black Joe'" 


Hon. Geo. L. Christian. 

Fort Sumter, as is well known, is the principal fort near the 
center of the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. It was 
built by the United States Government upon property ceded to it 
by the State of South Carolina, to be held in trust, primarily 
for the defence of the City of Charleston and its harbor; and, 
under the power of what is known as Eminent Domain, the 
State of South Carolina had the right to demand the recession of 
that property whenever it deemed it necessary for its use or 
protection, upon the condition of repaying to the Government 
of the United States what it had expended in the erection of that 

South Carolina seceded from the Federal Union on the 20th 
of December, 1860. Within a few days after the Convention 
passed the ordinance of secession, commissioners were sent by 
the State to the Federal Government at Washington offering to 
pay the Federal Government for whatever it had expended in 
the erection of Fort Sumter, and generally to settle the financial 
affairs between that State and the Federal Government peaceably 
and on a fair and equitable basis. 

The administration of James Buchanan, then the President, 
whilst declining to treat with these commissioners, on the ground 
that it did not recognize the right of a State to withdraw from the 
Union, also took the further position that the Federal Govern- 
ment had no power under the constitution to attempt to coerce a 

35 The war was about to be precipitated, and the exact significance of the 
attack on Sumter, as outhned here, should be kept in mind. Knowing that 
the right of secession was maintained in the Constitution, and in a long series 
of pubUc acts and official declarations, Virginia was conscious that the slavery 
question was not the real issue of the war. The State, moreover, bound to 
the Union by many ties of blood and sacrifice, had expressed. her determina- 
tion not to secede so long as there was hope of restoring the Union and so 
long as no attack was made on the South by the Federal Administration. 
Slowly through the weeks, the prospect of restoring the Union had grown 
dimmer, but Virginia still waited and hoped. Finally, the Federal Admin- 
istration, under the guise of provisioning Fort Sumter, began aggressive 
action against the South. This led to the attack on Fort Sumter, as veritable 
an act of self-defense as history records. 


State which had so withdrawn. Up to the night of December 
26, 1860, Fort Sumter was not garrisoned by troops, and it was 
claimed on the part of the representatives of the State of South 
CaroHna that President Buchanan had entered into a compact 
with them, on December 9, 1860, whereby the garrison of Fed- 
, eral troops then occupying Fort Moultrie oppcs te Fort Sumter, 
under Major Robert Anderson, should remain unchanged as 
to the "military status ' then in existence. 

On the night of December 26, 1860, Major Anderson, without 
notice to the authorities of the State of South Carolina, which 
had then seceded, evacuated Fort Moultrie, spiked its guns and 
took possession of and occupied Fort Sumter, which was a much 
stronger and larger fort. This action of Major Anderson greatly 
irritated the people and the authorities of South Carolina, who 
regarded it as a violation of the compact between them and Mr. 
Buchanan, that "no reinforcements should be sent into those 
forts and their military status should remain as at present." 

Upon the evacuation of Fort Moultrie by Major Anderson 
and his troops, that fort as well as Sullivan's Island and Castle 
Pinckney, all three of which are fortifications for the defence of 
the harbor of Charleston, were occupied by troops of the States 
of South Carolina and considerably strengthened. 

Early in January, 1861, the Federal Government sent a war 
vessel, the "Star of the West," with troops and provisions, for 
the purpose of reinforcing and supphang Fort Sumter. When 
this war vessel attempted to enter the port of Charleston, she 
was fired upon by the batteries manned by South Carolina 
troops in Fort Moultrie, whereupon she retired. 

There was necessarily great irritation on the part of the people 
of South CaroHna, growing out of the fact that Fort Sumter, 
which had been built primarily for the protection of the people 
of that State, remained in possession of what they regarded 
as foreign and hostile hands. 

The secession of South Carolina, on December 20, 1860, was 
followed by that of six other Southern States during the month 
of January, 1861, up to February 4th, 1861, and on the latter 
date these seven Southern States, viz.. South Carolina, Florida, 
Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, sent their 
representatives to'^Montgomery, Alabama, and inaugurated the 
government of the "Confederate States of America," with 


Montgomery as its capital. These representatives, as they were 
authorized by their respective States to do, formed a provisional 
government and adopted a constitution similar in all essential 
respects to the government and constitution of the United States, 
and they elected Jefferson Davis of Mississippi as President, 
and Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia as Vice-President of the 
Confederate States of America. 

It is apparent from the resolutions of the legislatures and 
conventions of these several States before, and in their several 
acts of, secession, and from the acts of the new confederation 
at Montgomery, as well as from the inaugural address of Presi- 
dent Davis, that it was the earnest desire of the people of the 
South, and of their representatives at Montgomery, that the 
withdrawal of these States from the Federal Government should 
be accomplished peacefully, and to carry into effect the organiza- 
tion and establishment of their new government peacefully and 
harmoniously in all respects. 

Among the first acts of the Confederate Government was to 
send three commissioners to Washington to treat with the rep- 
resentatives of the Federal Government "with a view to a 
speedy adjustment of all questions growing out of this political 
separation upon such terms of amity and good-will as the 
respective interests, geographical contiguity and future welfare 
of the two nations ma}^ render necessary." 

The administration of Abraham Lincoln, who had been 
elected President of the United States at the election held in 
November, 1860, solely by the votes of the people of the north- 
ern States, and by a vote of nearly a million less than was cast 
for the other three candidates, viz., John Bell of Tennessee, 
John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky, and Stephen A. Douglas of 
Illinois, began on March 4, 1861. On March 12, 1861, two of 
these commissioners sent by the Confederate Government, hav- 
ing reached Washington, sent a communication to Mr. William 
H. Seward, the Secretary of State of the Lincoln administration, 
requesting of him an interview for the adjustment, on "terms 
of amity and good -will," of the affairs between the Federal 
Government and that of the Confederate States of America. 
Mr. Seward declined to receive the commissioners, or to treat 
with them directly at all, but he did treat with them indirectly 
through Justices Nelson of New York and Campbell of Alabama, 


members of the Supreme Court of the United States. These 
commissioners from the Government of the Confederate States 
were especially desirous of having the troops then occupying 
Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor and Fort Pickens in the 
harbor of Pensacola, Florida, withdrawn — those in the other 
forts lying within the limits of the seceded States having been 
already withdrawn. 

Mr. Seward, it seems, assured Justices Nelson and Campbell 
that Fort Sumter would be evacuated within a very short period 
of time; indeed, he said this would be done before Judge Camp- 
bell could write a letter to President Davis stating this fact and 
receive a reply thereto. Mr. Seward, through the intervention 
of Judge Campbell, kept these Confederate commissioners wait- 
ing in suspense at Washington from March 12 th to April 8th, 
1861, without giving them any definite reply to their request 
that Fort Sumter should be evacuated; but during that inter- 
val he sent them assurances, with the knowledge of Mr. Lincoln, 
that Fort Sumter would be evacuated, and as late as April 7th, 
1861, he replied to a letter from Judge Campbell — 

"Faith as to Sumter fully kept; wait and see." 

During the interval of twenty-seven days while the com- 
missioners were kept in waiting at Washington for an answer to 
their request for the evacuation of Fort Sumter, the President, 
Mr. Lincoln, sent two emissaries, one a Mr. Fox, afterwards 
Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and the other Colonel Ward 
H. Lamon, a close and confidential friend of Mr. Lincoln, to 
Charleston, and these two men were allowed to visit Major 
Anderson in Fort Sumter upon their solemn pledges, given to 
Governor Pickens of South Carolina, that nothing hostile to the 
Confederate Government, or the State of South Carolina, should 
take place between them and Major Anderson. What was done, 
we do not undertake to state, but we do know that during the 
time Mr. Seward kept the Confederate commissioners in sus- 
pense under promises to them, made through Judges Campbell 
and Nelson, that Fort Sumter would be evacuated, and which 
he did, as he states, with the knowledge and approval of Presi- 
dent Lincoln, a "relief squadron," with eleven ships carrying 
285 guns and 2,400 men was equipped and sent out from New 


York and Norfolk with orders to reinforce Fort Sumter, peace- 
ably if permitted, "but forcibly if they must." 

On the 11th of April, 1861, when this relief squadron had 
reached the offmg of Charleston harbor. General G. T. 
Beauregard, commanding the Confederate forces at Charleston,- 
demanded of Major Robert Anderson the surrender or evacua- 
tion of Fort Sumter. This demand Major Anderson refused 
in writing to comply with, but added verbally to the messen- 
ger who bore his reply to General Beauregard, "I will await 
the first shot, and if you do not batter us to pieces, we will be 
starved out in a few days." 

Major Anderson's written refusal, as well as the verbal remark 
above quoted, were forthwith communicated by General Beaure- 
gard to the Confederate Secretary of War at Montgomery, who 
immediately returned the following response: 

"Do not desire needlessly to bombard Fort Sumter. If Major Ander- 
son will state the time at which, as indicated by himself, he will evacuate, 
and agree that in the meantime he will not use his guns against us, unless 
ours should be employed against Fort Sumter, you are authorized thus 
to avoid the effusion of blood. If this, or its equivalent, be refused, 
reduce the Fort as your judgment decides most practicable." 

These directions from the Confederate Secretary of War 
were communicated by General Beauregard to Major Ander- 
son, but he refused to consent to any such arrangement. The 
"Relief Squadron" had by this time arrived at the mouth of 
Charleston harbor, and General Beauregard, seeing that his 
forces were threatened with an attack both in their front and 
rear, at 4:30 o'clock on the morning of the 12th of April, 1861, 
opened fire on Fort Sumter, which fire was returned. The 
bombardment lasted for thirty-two hours, when at last Major 
Anderson agreed to capitulate, and the entire garrison, number- 
ing eighty in all, officers and men, were permitted to march out 
with their colors and music and to salute their flag with fifty 
guns. All private, as well as company property, was also al- 
lowed to be taken by those to whom it belonged. Providentially, 
not a life was lost in'this memorable combat. 

Because of the fact that the Confederates fired the first gun 
in their attempt to reduce Fort Sumter, it is claimed by the 
people of the North that they thereby inaugurated the war 


which then ensued between the North and the South. Mr. 
Hallam, in his constitutional history of England, says: 

"The aggressor in a war" {i. e., he who begins it) "is not the first who 
uses force, but the first who renders force necessary." 

We think this a perfectly sound principle, and that it is demon- 
strable by Northern testimony of the highest character that the 
Government of the United States, under Abraham Lincoln as 
its President, was the inaugurator of the war between the North 
and the South, and that the aggressions begun by the North, 
by the Federal Government and Mr. Lincoln, necessitated the 
firing on Fort Sumter by the Confederate forces under General 
Beauregard. In other words, that when the so-called "Relief 
Squadron," sent out by Mr. Lincoln, started from New York 
and Norfolk, uith orders to reinforce Sumter, "forcibly if neces- 
sary," then the first blow was, m effect, if not in reality, struck 
inaugurating the war. 

Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, who could never 
have been accused of sympathizing with the South, said : 

"I take it for granted that whoever permanently holds Charleston and 
South Carolina is entitled to the possession of Fort Sumter." 

And, of course, this was the view of the people and authorities 
of the Confederate States. 

For many years prior to the election of Mr. Lincoln, the people 
of the North had been guilty of flagrant violations of the Fugi- 
tive Slave Law. Fourteen Northern States had gone to the 
length of nullification by the passage of what were known as 
"personal liberty acts", and had refused not only to comply with 
the express terms of the constitution of the United States, but 
to obey the mandate of the Supreme Court in the construction 
of that instrument. 

General John A. Logan, afterwards a Major-General in the 
Federal Army, a United States Senator and a candidate for the 
vice-presidency on the RepubHcan ticket, said on the 5th of 
January, 1861 : 

"The Abolitionists of the North have constantly warred on the Southern 
institutions, and by their denunciations and lawless acts * * have 
driven the people of the Southern States to a sleepless vigilance for the 
protection of their property and the protection of their rights." 


The "Albany Argus" of November 10th, 1860, said: 

"We sympathize with and justify the South. * * Their rights 
have been invaded to the extreme Umit possible within the forms of the 
Constitution, and beyond that hmit, and rightly impelled them to resort 
to revolution and a separation from the Union." 

The "Rochester Union" a few days later said: 

"The North has led the way, and for a period has been the sole of- 
fender and aggressor." 

Mr. Williams, a Massachusetts writer, says: 

"The South was invaded and a war of subjugation, destined to be the 
most gigantic which the world has ever seen, was begun by the Federal 
Government against the seceded Stafes." 

And Mr. Lincoln himself said: 

''After Boston, Chicago was the chief instrument in bringing this war 
on the country." 

And these are only a few of the many statements which could 
be cited from Northern sources to the same effect. On the 
other hand, as we have stated, the whole contemporaneous his- 
tory of the Confederate Government shows, in the most satis- 
factory manner, that it longed for peace, and was willing and 
anxious to make all reasonable sacrifices to attain that end. 
The "New York Herald" of April 7th, 1861, says: 

"President Davis is determined that this administration (Lincoln's) 
shall not place him in a false position by making it appear to the world 
that the South was the aggressor. This has been, and still is, the 
POLICY OF Mr. Lincoln. It will not be successful. Unless Mr. Lin- 
coln makes the first demonstration and attack, President Davis says 
there will be no collision or blood-shed. With the Lincoln administra- 
tion, therefore, rests the responsibility of precipitating a collision and 
the fearful evils of protracted civil war." 


Calling Out the Militia. 

Whereas the laws of the United States have been for some 
time past, and now are opposed, and the execution thereof ob- 
structed, in the States of South CaroHna, Georgia, Alabama, 
Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, by combinations too 
powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial pro- 
ceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by law: 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United 
States, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution 
and the laws, have thought fit to call forth, and hereby do call 
forth, the militia of the several States of the Union, to the 
aggregate number of seventy-five thousand, m order to suppress 
said combinations, and to cause the laws to be duly executed. 

The details for this object will be immediately communicated 
to the State authorities through the War Department. 

I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate, and aid this 
effort to maintain the honor, the integrity, and the existence of 
our National Union, and the perpetuity of popular government; 
and to redress wrongs already long enough endured. 

I deem it proper to say that the first service assigned to the 
forces hereby called forth will probably be to repossess the forts, 
places, and property which have been seized from the Union; 
and in every event the utmost care will be observed, consist- 
ent with the objects aforesaid-, to avoid any devastation, any 
destruction of, or interference with property, or any disturbance 
of peaceful citizens in any part of the country. 

And I hereby command the persons composing the combina- 
tions aforesaid, to disperse and retire peacefully to their respec- 
tive abodes within twenty days from date. 

Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents 
an extraordinary occasion, I do hereby, in virtue of the power 
in me vested by the Constitution, convene both Houses of Con- 
gress. Senators and Representatives are therefore summoned 
to assemble at their respective chambers at twelve o'clock noon, 


on Thursday, the fourth day of July next, then and there to 
consider and determine such measures as, in their wisdom, the 
pubHc safety and interest may seem to demand. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused 
the seal of the United States to be affixed. 

Done at the City of Washington, this 15th day of April, in 
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, 
and of the independence of the United States the eighty-fifth. 

By the President: 

Abraham Lincoln. 36 

Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Abraham Lincoln's Complete Works, edited by John G. Nicolay 
and John Hay. 1907. v. 2. p. 34. 

Governor Letcher's Reply to the Secretary of War 
IN Reference to President Lincoln's Call for 
Troops with which to Conquer the Seceding States. 

"I have only to say that the militia of Virginia will not be 
furnished to the powers at Washington for any such use or pur- 
pose as they have in view. Your object is to subjugate the 
Southern States and the requisition made upon me for such an 
object — an object in my judgment not within the purview of 

^^The attack on Fort Surater described by Judge Christian removed the 
last hope of peaceable solution. Virginia had done all in her power and at 
the very time of the attack on Sumter was sending her representatives to 
Washington to seek an interview with President Lincoln in the hope of getting 
some assurance that the Federal Administration would not precipitate hos- 
tilities. In the midst of wild demonstrations of popular sympathy with the 
South, in Richmond and elsewhere, the Virginia Convention exhausted the 
last means of averting hostilities. When, however, Lincoln called out the 
militia and demanded that Virginia send troops to attack her sister States of 
the South, the Commonwealth could no longer hesitate. The proclamation 
quoted was followed by Govei-nor Letcher's reply and on April 17, by the 
Ordinance of Secession. Virginia had no other course then to pursue. As 
much as she loved the Union, as much as she was willing to sacrifice for it, 
she could not and would not join hands with a hostile North in attacking the 
Southern States which had exercised a right reserved by the Constitution, 
maintained through the years and upheld by Virginia herself. 


the Constitution or of the act of 1795, will not be complied with. 
You have chosen to inaugurate civil war; and having done so, 
we will meet you in a spirit as determined as the Administra- 
tion has exhibited toward the South." — American Conflict, Gree- 
ley, V. 1, p. 459. 

An Ordinance to repeal the ratification of the Constitution of 
the United States of America, by the State of Virginia, and 
to resume all the rights and powers granted under said 
Constitution. — [April 17, 1861.; 

The people of Virginia, in the ratification of the Constitution 
of the United States of America, adopted by them in Conven- 
tion on the 25th day of June, in the year of our Lord one thou- 
sand seven hundred and eighty-eight, having declared that the 
powers granted under the said Constitution were derived fiom 
the people of the United States, and might be resumed when- 
soever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression, 
and the Federal Government having perverted said powers, not 
only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppres- 
sion of the Southern slaveholding States, 

Now, therefore, we, the people of Virginia, do declare and 
ordain, that the Ordinance adopted by the people of this State 
in Convention on the twenty-fifth day of June in the year of 
our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby 
the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, 
and all acts of the General Assembly of this State ratifying or 
adopting amendments to said Constitution, are hereby repealed 
and abrogated, that the union between the State of Virginia and 
the other States under the Constitution, aforesaid, is hereby 
dissolved, and that the State of Virginia is in full possession and 
exercise of all the rights of sovereignty which belong and apper- 
tain to a free and independent State, and they do further declare 
the said Constitution of the United States of America no longer 
binding on any of the citizens of the State. 

This Ordinance shall take effect and be an Act of this day, 
when ratified by a majority of the votes of the people cast at a 
poll to be taken thereon, on the fourth Thursday in May next, 
in pursuance of a schedule hereafter to be enacted. 


Done in Convention in the City of Richmond, on the seven- 
teenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight 
hundred and sixty-one, and in the eighty-fifth year of the Com- 
monwealth of Virginia. 37 

W."M. Ambler* 

E. M. Armstrong 
Wm. B. Aston* 
John B. Baldwin 
George Baylor 
MiERs W. Fisher* 

Wm. Hamilton Macfarland* 

Hugh M. Nelson 

Johnson Orrick* 

Logan Osburn 

Wm. C. Parks* 

Wm. Ballard Preston* 

Wm. Campbell Scott* 

Jno. M. Speed* 

John T. Thornton * 

Sam'l Woods* 

Jno. J. Kindred* 

Henry L. Gillespie* 

F. M. Cabell* 
S. L. Graham* 
Sam'l M. Garland* 
George W. Richardson* 
Henry A. Wise* 

J. T. Martin 
Alfred M. Barbour 
Jas. Barbour* 
Edw'd. N. Chambers 
Geo. Blow, Jr.* 
James Boisseau* 
Peter B. Borst* 
Wood Bouldin* 

''The vote on the Ordinance of Secession was taken on the afternoon of 
April 17 at 4:15; eighty-eight votes were registered in the affirmative and 
fifty-five in the negative. Twenty-one of those who did not vote for the 
Ordinance at the time of its adoption were later permitted to sign it. Those 
who voted originally in the affirmative are marked with an asterisk. 


Wm. W. Boyd* 
James C. Bruce* 
Benjamin W. Byrne 
Thos. Stanhope Flournoy* 
r William W. Forbes* 

John T. Seawell* 
Geo. p. Tayloe* 
Wm. M. Tredway* 
Ben. F. Wysor* 
Harvey Deskins* 
Geo. W. Hull 
W. T. Sutherlin* 
Jas. W. Hoge 
Robert C. Kent* 
R. E. Grant 
Richard H. Cox* 
Stephen A. Morgan 
James Marshall 
A. T. Caperton* 
Thos. Branch* 
W. P. Cecil* 
John A. Campbell* 
John R. Chambliss, Jr. 
Sam'l a. Coffman* 
R. M. Conn* 
C. B. Conrad 
RoBT. Y. Conrad 
John Critcher 
Sam'l Price 
, Timothy Rives* 
Charles R. Slaughter* 
Alexr. H. H. Stuart 
Robt. H. Turner* 
James H. Cox* 
Samuel G. Staples* 
James W. Sheffey* 
George W. Randolph* 
James Lawson* 
Andrew Parks 
Thos. Maslin 


Edw. D. McGuire 
John A. Robinson 
C. J. P. Cresap 
James B. Dorman* 
JUBAL A. Early 
Napoleon B. French* 
Colbert C. Fugate 
Peyton Gravely 
Kendall Gregory, Jr.* 
Addison Hall 
Cyrus Hall* 
F. B. Miller* 
Horatio G. Moffett* 
David Pugh 
Peter Saunders, Sr. 


John Tyler* 

Ro. H. Whitfield* 

Jas. G. Hollady 

Henry H. Masters 

Jeremiah Morton* 

Thomas F. Goode* 

George Wm. Brent 

Wm. H. B. Custis 

W. P. Cooper 

RoBT. E. Cowan 

Wm. L. Goggin* 

John Goode, Jr.* 

Fielden L. Hale* 
James P. Holcombe* 
Jno. N. Hughes* 
Lewis D. Isbell* 
Walter D. Leake* 
Chas. K. Mallory* 
J. B. Mallory* 
Jno. L. Marye* 
R. E. Scott* 
J. D. Sharp 

James Magruder Strange* 
Wms. C. Wickham 


Wm. H. Dulaney 
John Armistead Carter 
M. R. H. Garnett 
Manilius Chapman* 
G. W. Berlin 
Thomas Sitlington 
Franklin P. Turner* 
J. M. Heck 
Eppa Hunton* 
John Janney 

Presdt. Convention and delegate from Loudoun. 

Leonard S. Hall"" 
Allen C. Hammond 
Lewis E. Harvie* 
Alpheus F. Haymond 
■ Peter C. Johnson* 
John R. Kilby 
Paul McNeil 
Robert L. Montague* 
Edmund Taylor Morris* 
S. McD. Moore 
John Q. Marr 
Wm. J. Neblett* 
Edward Waller* 
Sam'l C. Williams* 
Marmaduke JohnsDn* 
W^M. White 
Algernon S. Gray 
Jas. V. Brooke 
Angus R. Blakey* 
• J no. Echols* 

Burwell Spurlock 
J. B. Young 


Virginia Chooses Her Leader.^* 

Executive Department, April 22, 1861. 

Gentlemen of the Convention: — I hereby nominate, and with 
your advice and consent, appoint Colonel Robert E. Lee, to 
the office of Commander of the Military and Naval forces of 
the State of Virginia, with the rank of Major General. Talent, 
experience and devotion to the interests of Virginia, fit him in an 
eminent degree for the exalted position he is nominated to fill. 

It affords me pleasure to assure you upon undoubted testi- 
mony, that his resignation as an officer of the Army of the 
United States, was determined upon, before the passage of your 
ordinance creating the office, which it is now proposed to fill, 
I trust the nomination will meet your approbation, and that it 
will be your pleasure to receive him in open Convention on 


John Letcher. 

[Virginia Convention, April 23, 1861, Richmond]. 

Major General Lee entered, leaning on the arm of Mr. Johnson 
of Richmond, chairman of the committee appointed to conduct 
the distinguished military chief to the Hall. As they reached 
the main aisle, Mr. Johnson said: "Mr. President, I have the 
honor to present to you and to the Convention, Major General 

^* The last step in the secession of Virginia remained to be taken. Know- 
ing that she would be the battle ground and determined to do her utmost 
for the defense of the South, the State began to prepare for war. Her militia 
had long been in training and some plans of self defense had already been 
formed, but it was not until the Ordinance of Secession was adopted that 
Virginia took active steps. She needed most of all a leader, and when Gov- 
ernor John Letcher, in the co- munication here quoted, nominated Colonel 
Robert E. Lee, the people felt ,aat a proper leader had been chosen. General 
Lee's appomtment at once followed his nomination; on the next day he was 
formally introduced to the Convention. The proceedings on that memorable 
occasion are quoted in fu]!, 


The President — "Major General Lee- — In the name of the 
people of your native State, here represented, I bid you a cordial 
and heartfelt welcome to this Hall, in which we may almosc yet 
hear the echo of the voices of the statesmen, the soldiers and 
sages of by-gone days, who have borne your name, and whose 
blood now flows in your veins. 

We met in the month of February last, charged with the solemn 
duty of protecting the rights, the honor and the interests of the 
people of this Commonwealth. We differed for a time as to the 
best means of accomplishing that object; but there never was, 
at any moment, a shade of difference amongst us as to the great 
object itself; and now, Virginia having taken her position, as far 
as the power of this Convention extends, we stand animated by 
one impulse, governed by one desire ?nd one determination, and 
that is that she shall be defended; and that no spot of her soil 
shall be polluted .by the foot of an invader. 

When the necessity became apparerii of having a leader for 
our forces, all hearts and all eyes, by the impulse of an instinct 
which is a surer guide than reason itself, turned to the old 
county of Westmoreland. We knew how prolific she had been 
in other days, of heroes and statesmen. We knew she had given 
birth to the Father of His Country; to Richard Henry Lee, to 
Monroe, and last, though not least, to your own gallant father, 
and we knew well, by your own deeds, that her productive power 
was not yet exhausted. 

Sir, we watched with the most profound and intense interest 
the triumphal march of the army led by General Scott, to which 
you were attached, from Vera Cruz to the Capital at Mexico ; we 
read of the sanguinary conflicts and the bloodstained fields, in all 
of which victory perched upon our own banners; we knew of the 
unfading lustre that was shed upon the American arms by that 
campaign; and we know, also, what your modesty has always 
disclaimed, that no small share of the glory of those achieve- 
ments was due to your valor and your military genius. 

Sir, one of the proudest recollections of my life will be the 
honor that I yesterday had of submitting to this body the con- 
firmation of the nomination made by the Governor of this State, 
of you as Commander-in-Chief of the military and naval forces 
of this Commonwealth. I rose to put the question, and when I 
asked if this body would advise and consent to that appointment, 


there rushed from the hearts to the tongues of all the members, 
the affirmative response that told, with an emphasis that could 
leave no doubt of the feeling whence it emanated. I put the 
negative of the question for form's sake, but there was an un- 
broken silence. 

Sir, we have, by this unanimous vote, expressed our con- 
victions that you are, at this day, among the living citizens of 
Virginia, "first in war." We pray to God most fervently that 
you may so conduct the operations committed to your charge, 
that it will soon be said of you, that you are "first in peace," 
and when that time comes, you will have earned the still prouder 
distinction of being "first in the hearts of your countrymen." 

I will close with one more remark. 

When the Father of His Country made his last will and 
testament he gave his swords to his favorite nephews with an 
injunction that they should never be drawn from their scabbards, 
except in self defence, <^ in defence of the rights and liberties of 
their country, and, if drawn for the latter purpose, they should 
fall with them in their hands, rather than relinquish them. 

Yesterday, your mother, Virginia, placed her sword in your 
hand upon the implied condition that we know you will keep to 
the letter and in spirit, that you will draw it only in her defence, 
and that you will fall with it in your hand rather than the object 
for which it was placed there, shall fail." (Applause). 

Major General Lee responded as follows: 

"Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention — Profoundly 
impressed with the solemnity of the occasion, for which I must 
say I was not prepared, I accept the position assigned me by 
your partiality. I would have much preferred had your choice 
fallen on an abler man. Trusting in Almighty God, an approv- 
ing conscience, and the aid of my fellow-citizens, I devote myself 
to the service of my native State, in whose behalf alone, will I 
ever again draw my sword." (Applause). 



Forth from its scabbard, pure and bright, 

Flashed the sword of Lee! 
Far in the front of the deadly fight. 
High o'er the brave, in the cause of right, 
Its stainless sheen, like a beacon light. 

Led us to victory. 

Out of the scabbard, where f till long 

It slumbered peacefully — 
Roused from its rest by the battle-song. 
Shielding the feeble, smiting the strong, 
Guarding the right, avenging the wrong — 

Gleamed the sword of Lee! 

Forth from its scabbard, high in the air 

Beneath Virginia's sky — 
And they who saw it gleaming there. 
And knew who bore it, knelt to swear 
That where that sword led they ivould dare 

To folloiv and to die. 

Out of its scabbard! Never hand 

Waved sword from stain as free, 
Nor purer sword led braver band, 
Nor braver bled for a brighter land, 
Nor brighter land had a cause as grand, 

Nor, cause, a chief like Lee! 

Forth from its scabbard! how we prayed 

That sword might victor be! 
And when our triumph was delayed. 
And many a heart grew sore afraid. 
We still hoped on, ivhile gleamed the blade. 

Of noble Robert Lee! 

Forth from its scabbard! all in vain! 

Forth flashed the sword of Lee. 
'Tis shrouded now in its sheath again, 
It sleeps the sleep of our noble slain. 
Defeated, yet without a stain, 

Proudly and peacefully. — Father Ryan. 




JProfessor D. R. Anderson. 

"When the Constitution was adopted by the votes of States 
at Philadelphia, and accepted by the votes of States in popular 
conventions, it is safe to say that there was not a man in the 
country from Washington and Hamilton on the one side and 
George Clinton and George Mason on the other, who regarded 
the new system as anything but an experiment entered upon by 
the States and from which each and every State had the right 
peaceably to withdraw, a right which was very likel}^ to be 
exercised." Lodge, Henry Cabot — ^"Daniel Webster". Ameri- 
can Statesman Series, new ed., p. 172. 

"The Constitution of the United States was presenting itself 
more and more in the light of an agreement between two incom- 
patible sets of economic institutions, assuming to each the right 
freely to exist within its own limits." Wendell, Barrett — A 
Literary History of America, quoted in "The Brother's War" 
—Reed. p. 29. 

"Having done so, and admitting the facts, I add as the result 
of much patient study and most mature reflection, that under 
similar conditions, I would myself have done exactly what Lee 
did. In fact, I do not see how I, placed as he was placed, could 
have done otherwise." Lees Centennial. An address by 
Charles Francis Adams. Delivered at Lexington, Va. January 
19, 1907. p. 7. 

"Legally and technically — not morally — and wholly irrespec- 
tive of humanitarian considerations — to which side did the 
weight of argument incline during the great debate which cul- 
minated in our Civil War? * * * If we accept the judg- 
ment of some of the more modern students and investigators 
of history — either wholly unprejudiced or with a distinct union 
bias — it would seem as if the weight of argument falls into what 
I will term the Confederate scale." (Charleston) 


"The truth is that an irrepressible social conflict was at hand, 
and that both sides were as honorable as were both sides during 
the American Revolution, or during civil wars of England." 
J. C. Reed — The Brother's War. Quotations from Charles 
Francis Adams at Chicago and Charleston, 1902. 

"We stabbed the South to the quick, and during all the years 
of reconstruction turned the dagger round in the festering wound. 
The spirit of war and imperialism has never, yet settled any 
question, except the question as to which side is stronger; and 
now after forty years, we are beginning to learn that the negro 
has yet to be emancipated. If the South had been permitted to 
secede, slavery would have died a natural death, the Southerners 
would have felt that they had consented to its demise, and they 
would have accepted the new order with that attitude of ac- 
quiescence which is necessary to the success of any social ex- 
periment. We have still at this late day to learn the ancient 
lesson of Buddha: "Hatred does not cease by hatred at any time; 
hatred ceases by love; this is an old rule." 

The wisest thing that was said by any Northerner at the out- 
break of the war was the saying usually ascribed to Horace 
Greeley: "Let the erring sisters go." Mr. Whitelaw Reid has 
lo^^ally endeavored to defend his former chief from this ascrip- 
tion, and he declared that Mr. Greeley never used the words. 
If Mr, Reid is speaking solely in the interests of historical 
accuracy, well and good; but if he is stretching a point to save 
his friend, he is doing him a doubtful service, for the final 
historian of the Civil War will have to record that these were 
the words, and the only words, of wisdom. If Mr. Gladstone 
echoed them in the spirit in which they were uttered, he was right 
and Mr. Morley should reconsider his judgment." Ernest 
Crosby — The North American Review, v. 177, p. 871. 



Mrs. Kate Pleasants Minor. 

There is no national holiday created by Congress, nor any day 
universally observed by order of the National Government 
unless it be Thanksgiving Day. Even that day, while recom- 
mended by the President, and now universally accepted by the 
different States, is only recommended, and not established by 
any law. 

The various days made legal holidays in the different States 
are conspicuous illustrations of the great principle on which 
our government is founded, that Congress has no authority except 
such as is bestowed by the States. The two holidays dealing 
with affairs of the nation, most widely known and most deeply 
reverenced, are the Fourth of July and Memorial Day. 

To both of these Virginians owe very special allegiance. 
The birthday of the Republic was proclaimed by a Congress 
which adopted the declaration offered by Richard Henry Lee, 
of Virginia, and finally prepared for ratification by that other 
great Virginian, Thomas Jefferson. The independence of the 
country was won by an army led by our greatest Virginian, save 
orie, and it was on Virginia's soil that the final victory was 
achieved which made possible the United States of America. 

No less intimate and important is Virginia's share in our second 
great day. All the Southern States may claim a share with 
Virginia in the inauguration of this beautiful custom, but Vir- 
ginia was the battlefield and it is not unnatural that her daugh- 
ters should have been the first to recognize the sacred claim of 
the immortal dead to their ministrations. During the summer of 
1865 the ladies of Winchester, Virginia, organized a memorial 
association, and in the spring of the following year they began the 
work of reinterring the soldiers whose graves had been scattered 
over the fields, in abandoned church yards and elsewhere. 
Stonewall Cemetery was not formally dedicated until October, 
1886, and meanwhile, all over the South, Memorial Associations 
had sprung up, having the general purpose of caring for the sol- 


diers' graves, and of inaugurating a yearly pilgrimage to these 
sacred spots. 

During the period immediately succeeding the war when there 
were no histories except such as were written by Northern 
sympathizers, the yearly gatherings at the Confederate Ceme- 
teries were the most important opportunities given to teach the 
children why their fathers had fought and how they had won 
their right to be known as heroes. 

In 1867, Mrs. Jno. A. Logan was in Richmond during the 
celebration of Hollywood Memorial Day, and became so im- 
pressed with the beauty of the custom, that she urged her 
husband, then commanding the Grand Army of the Republic, 
as the association of Northern Veterans is called, to make a 
similar celebration for the Northern Soldiers. Decoration Day 
was accordingly established the following year, May 30th being 
chosen for the Federal Day, as the Hollywood Association had, 
in its Constitution, appointed May 31st "or as near that day as 
possible," for the Confederates. 

It was not until 1902 that the General Assembly of Virginia 
set the seal of its approval on the day long held sacred by the 
Hollywood Memorial Association as Memorial Day, but since 
that time the day observed throughout the North and that 
observed by statute in Virginia is May 30th. 

This country has had two great wars: The first was needed 
to establish its existence ; the second came near to creating an- 
other government, and succeeded in changing materially the 
principle on which the government is founded. Virginia led 
in both these bloody wars. In both she gave of her best and nob- 
lest sons. Both are remembered to-day by their great Virginian 
commanders, and the children of Virginia should learn to know 
Lee's soldiers, and to understand the great cause for which they 
fought^as the world has already learned to estimate Washington, 
and the cause he represents. Both men were called rebels and 
their armies were called the rebel armies. Both did "rebel" 
against tyranny. Both were patriots who fought to defend their 
native land. Virginia children must honor them equally. 


Harry Macarthy. 

We are a band of brothers, and native to the soil, 

Fighting for our liberty, with treasure, blood, and toil; 

And when our rights were threatened, the cry rose near and far. 

Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a Single Star! 

Hurrah! Hurrah! for Southern Rights, Hurrah! 

Hurrah! for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a Single Star! 

As long as the Union was faithfid to her trust, 
Like friends and like brethren, kind were we and just; 
But now when Northern treachery attempts our rights to mar, 
We hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a Single Star. 

— Chorus. 

First, gallant South Carolina made the stand; 
Then came Alabama, who took her by the hand; 
Next, quickly Mississippi, Georgia and Florida, 
All raised on high the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a Single Star. 

— Chorus. 

Ye men of valor, gather round the banner of the right, 
Texas and fair Louisiana join us in the fight; 
Davis, our loved President, and Stephens, statesmen rare, 
Now rally round the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a Single Star. 

- — Chorus. 

And here's to brave Virginia, the Old Dominion State. 
With the young Confederacy at length has link'd her fate; 
Impelled by her example, nmv other States prepare, 
To hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a Single Star. 

— -Chorus. 


Then cheer, boys, cheer, raise the joyous shout, 
For Arkansas and North Carolina now have both gone out; 
And let another rousing cheer for Tennessee be given, 
The Single Star of the Bonnie Blue Flag has grown to be Eleven. 

— Chorus. 

Then here's to our Cotifederacy, strong we are and brave, 
Like patriots of old, we'll fight our heritage to save. 
And rather than submit to shame, to die we would prefer; 
So cheer for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a Single Star. 

— Chorus. 
Hurrah! Hurrah! for Southern Rights Hurrah! 

Hurrah' for the Bonnie Blue Flag has gained the Eleventh Star. 




1— Song by School, "Old Black Joe." 

2 — Recitations to follow each other announced — 

1. "The Old Virginia Gentleman." 

2. "What Constitutes a State." 

3 Instrumental or vocal solo, "Suwanee River." 
4 — Virginia's Secession. 

Virginia's Secession. 
Note.— The States are here arranged in the order of their secession. 

Characters : 

South Carolina 



North Carolina 

Centralized Government 

Worldly Honors 
True Honor 
Robert E. Lee 
Each State should be represented by a girl wearing her name 
on a band worn like a sash. The other characters should also 
wear a sash or a belt with their name on it. 


Enter to the music of the "Bonnie Blue Flag," South Carolina, 
Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. 
They form a semicircle on the stage. 

South Carolina: "Our fathers before us taught us that each 
State entering the Federal Union was a Sovereign State, and 
might leave the Union for good cause. Our rights have been 
trampled on, the Constitution violated, and we have exercised 
the right of withdrawal from the Union which we reserved when 
we entered it. A new nation and a new flag have been born. 
The roar of hostile cannon is heard in our land ; invading armies 
are marching upon us — Where are our sister States — ^Arkansas, 
North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia?" 

[Enter Virginia, carrying the State flag, with eyes cast down as if in deep 
thought, and advancing slowly to the center of stage.] 

All: "From the Potomac to the Rio Grande the South is one 
Country; one in blood, one in traditions, one in sentiments. All 
have joined the Southern Confederacy save four and one of 
these the greatest and best beloved of all. What will Virginia 
do? Will she deny her own?" 

Virginia: "The first Englishmen who came to the New World 
settled within my borders. When the colonies were oppressed 
by a haughty King, it was my Jefferson who penned the Declara- 
tion , my Washington who broke the power of Great Britain, and 
gained our independence. I gave an empire to make the Union 
of States possible, and I love that Union still, for my sons have 
made its history glorious. But my sisters of the South now call 
upon me to share their fortunes. Shall I deny them? What 
shall I do?" 

[Enter Centralized Government, Victory, Wealth and Worldly Honors.] 

Centralized Government: "Choose me and the Nation." 
Victory: "If you join the Confederacy, you will go down in 

defeat. Choose me and the Nation." 

Wealth: "If you join the Confederacy, your fields will belaid 

waste, and poverty will be your portion: Choose me and the 



Worldly Honor: "Cast your lot with the Union and your 
generals will lead victorious armies and your statesmen will oc- 
cupy places of honor." 

Virginia: "Centralized Government, Success, Wealth, Worldly 
Honors all urge me to remain in the Union. But I do not 
believe in centralized government and dearer to me than success 
and worldly honors and wealth is True Honor. I cast my 
fortune with the South, No foe shall ever cross my borders to 
carry war to my own kindred." 

[Centralized Government, Wealth, Worldly Honors and Victory all hold 
out their hands in mute appeal to Virginia, who shakes her head. Then these 
characters retire slowly from the stage.] 

Virgina: "In the time of sorrow when friends desert me and 
the clouds of war are hovering over my land who will remain 

[Enter Robert E. Lee, who comes and kneels before Virginia. Virginia 
takes his hand and raises him to a place beside her.] 

[Enter True Honor, who takes her stand on the other side of Virginia.] 

True Honor: "We are proud of what Virginia dared. We are 
proud of the spirit that prompted her; of her heroes who fought 
for her, and of the names they have left us." 

(Enter Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina.] 

Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina- "We too will join 
the Great Confederacy — there shall be ho gap in the Southern 

All sing Chorus of "Bonnie Blue Flag" and then form in hne, 
Virginia leading, and march out singing.' 
5 — Recitation ''The Sword of Lee". 
6 — Song by School — "Virginia." 
7 — Recitation — "Bivouac of the Dead." 
8 — Song by School — "America." 

This Programme is arranged with the idea that the teacher will use it as a 
whole or in part, selecting such features as are adapted to the grade or grades 


"He never owned a foreign rule, 

A master he would scorn; 

Trained in the Revolution' s school, 

To Liberty was horn! 

And when they asked him for his oath, 

He touched his war-worn blade, 

And pointed to his lapel gray. 

That bore the blue cockade! 

Like a straight-out States' Rights gentleman, 

All of the olden time.'' 

"And when the words rang through the land, 
^Coercion is to be'' 
'Coercion of the free?' 
That night the dreadful news was spread, 
From mountains to the sea; 
And our old Baron rose in might 
Like a lion from his den. 
And rode in haste across the hills 
To join the fighting-men. 
Like a staunch Virginia gentleman, 
All of the olden time." 
-From "The Old Virginia Gentleman," By G. W. Bagby. 


ii^mnnal M^ Annual 






For use as a source hook of contemporary authorities. 

Published by the Department of Public Instructio7i 

of Virginia at the request of the Confederate 

Memorial Literary Society